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Super-tech not easing rear-end shunts

2014-06-02 14:04

NEW TECH, SAME PROBLEMS: Despite an increase in anti-crash technologies rear-end collisions are increasing. Image: Shutterstock

LONDON, England - New safety technology has not halted the steady increase in Britain of rear-end crashes, according to new research by Accident Exchange.

Rear-end shunts – when one car hits the back of another – have risen by 7% from 2011 to the end of 2013. Crashes cost on average the equivalent of R35 000 to repair, reports Accident Exchange.

Most occur at low speed in urban areas but, overall, constitute more than one-third of all crashes.

'NEW TECH, MORE DISTRACTIONS'

The figure has been rising steadily since 2011, despite the adoption of collision avoidance systems and powerful anti-lock brakes. While not always standard equipment, many automaker provide autonomous (no driver intervention) systems on new cars.

Director of sales development at Accident Exchange, Liz Fisher, said: “There’s no obvious explanation because the nation’s roads are full of safer, more advanced vehicles which, in some cases, are supposed to help a driver to avoid collisions.

“However, it could be argued that increased connectivity in cars means the modern driver has more distractions while at the wheel from other technology, like mobile phones or MP3 players.”

'EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE

Under Section 126 of the British Highway Code, typically if a driver hits another vehicle in the rear, he or she will be at fault for the incident.

There are exceptions to the rule; for example, if the driver in front changes lanes and immediately brakes, or slows down suddenly for no reason.
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