Spike in car crashes as lockdown rules ease

Car crashes have increased by more than a third since lockdown rules were relaxed, new figures suggest.

Co-op Insurance said it saw a 35% spike in claims between May 9 and June 10 compared with the previous four-and-a-half week period.

The insurer suggested the increase could be due to people being out of the habit of driving regularly.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out his “first sketch of a road map” for easing restrictions on May 10.

A survey of 2,080 UK adults commissioned by Co-op Insurance indicated that 16% of motorists say they have been driving more in the past month, with 59% of this group believing it is safer than public transport.

More than a tenth (12%) of drivers responded that they have been driving as opposed to using trains or buses because they do not want to wear a face covering.

Nick Ansley, head of motor insurance at Co-op, said: “As lockdown measures ease we’ve seen a significant increase in collisions on the roads.

“Prior to lockdown, many motorists across the country drove regularly, whether that be to commute, to see friends or family or take day trips.

“With concerns about public transport and official advice to consider all other forms of transport such as driving, cycling or walking, it’s clear that even more people are taking to the roads.

“With this in mind, we’re reminding all road users to take extra care to help keep themselves, others and their communities safe.”

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: “The increase in collisions may feel inevitable but it shouldn’t be and is concerning, especially with the increase in people cycling on the roads.

“We urge people to only drive if essential and be extra vigilant for people cycling and walking.”

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