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Motorists cut up by rise in lane change crashes

Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 11:31
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Signal. Mirror. Blind spot glance. Manoeuvre

Lane change incidents increase by almost a third over the last four years

A new report released by Accident Exchange reveals a staggering increase in lange change incidents. The increase in lane change errors could be linked to the rise of the smartphone and in-car connectivity, with use of a mobile phone at the wheel slowing reaction time by around half and quadrupling the likelihood of having an accident.

Collisions in which a vehicle was struck or sideswiped by another moving into a different lane increased from 5.53% of all incidents in 2010 to 7.16% of incidents recorded in 2014.

Liz Fisher, Director of Sales Development at Accident Exchange, said: “We have seen steady growth in the number of accidents resulting from errors made when changing lanes […] Lane changes demand a driver’s full attention and swift reactions but too many drivers are diverting their focus from the road and putting themselves – and other road users – at risk.”

The statistic has emerged in spite of growth in crash avoidance technology. Toyota, VW, Mercedes, Volvo and Nissan are among the manufacturers to develop features such as autonomous braking and systems which detect drivers who are at risk of wandering into another lane. However, time spent using a mobile or hastily following instructions from a satnav system can prevent a driver from making the necessary checks before merging into the next lane.

Drivers who misjudge a space and strike moving traffic when they enter a lane are always considered to be at fault, according to law.

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