Car accident rates have started to climb once again following the easing of lockdown rules in the UK. 

Accident rates had decreased over the last few months as fewer drivers took to the road at the height of the coronavirus crisis, but now those numbers are rising sharply once again as restrictions are eased and people return to work.

A new study from AX has revealed that there were 72 percent more accidents in May compared to April – the easing of the lockdown began on May 10. For comparison, crashes dropped by 81 percent in the first two weeks of March and April. In fact, immediately upon lifting of lockdown restrictions, there was an instant 55.2 rise in collisions.

Whereas rear-end collisions are usually the most common kind of accident on the road, during lockdown they represented just 13 percent of incidents, the lowest ever recorded by AX. During lockdown, four out of 10 'non-fault' collisions involved a parked car – the first time this type of accident has represented over 40 percent of all collisions recorded.

AX car crash study

"Our analysis reveals some intriguing and useful insight into the nature of road use and driving during this extraordinary time," said Scott Hamilton-Cooper, sales and operations director. "While we expected accidents to fall significantly, the circumstances and types of incident changed markedly.

"Car parking accidents are always going to feature prominently, but they typically represent less than a third of all accidents, whereas during lockdown they were the most common.

"In normal circumstances, rear-end collisions are the most frequent accident scenario – it is easy to bump into the car in front while in traffic, not so in lockdown it appears. But with fewer trips and less practice, it seems parking has become a challenge for many drivers."