Accidents expected to surge 10% after clocks go back

New data from Enterprise Rent-A-Car indicates the number of UK road accidents could jump up by as much as 10% in the two weeks after the clocks go back this Sunday, 30 October.

The Enterprise data shows that demand for replacement cars, vans and trucks increased by 10% in the two weeks immediately after the clocks went back in 2021, compared to the two weeks beforehand.

Enterprise is the UK’s largest provider of replacement or courtesy rentals. It works with motor insurers and bodyshops to provide rental vehicles for both business and private drivers who have had an accident and need to stay mobile.

Road accidents are more common in the winter months and this is thought to be because of shorter days with darker afternoons and evenings, which are peak commuting times, and poor weather conditions following the end of British Summer Time.

There are also significantly more vehicles on the roads, which leads to more collisions. Department for Transport data shows that car traffic is nearing pre-pandemic levels and van and truck traffic has already increased beyond those levels.

The increase in incidents means that motorists may also be waiting longer to get their car back following an accident, especially if they need a courtesy or replacement car to stay mobile while their own vehicle is being repaired.

Stuart Sandell, head of replacement sales for the UK and Ireland at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, said: “Many people are now either back in the office full-time or coming in several days a week, and they’ll be driving home in darker, more wintry conditions in the days after the clocks go back. A 5:30pm journey home in the twilight suddenly becomes a more treacherous journey home in the dark.”