Autumn Clock Change Raises Evening Accident Risk by 30%: UK Telematics Study

October 27, 2016

The risk of U.K. drivers having an accident in the month following the clocks changing at the end of October* increases by 10 percent, according to Insure The Box, the telematics car insurance provider.

And if they are driving between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., when it’s both dark and busy on the roads, the risk of having an accident rises dramatically by 30 percent, compared to the previous month, said London-based Insure The Box.

The company used telematics data to calculate the exact risk of an accident in direct correlation with the annual autumn clock change.**

The findings are based on analysis of three years of accident data from over 330,000 Insure The Box administered policies, with nearly 3 billion miles of driving data and associated claims.

This includes knowing the exact time an accident occurs as the telematics black box fitted to each policyholder’s car sets off an alert to Insure The Box when a significant accident is detected, so that the emergency services can be contacted.

“There is no doubt accident risk increases as a direct result of the clocks going back one hour in [the] autumn,” said Charlotte Halkett, general manager communications for Insure The Box.

She cautioned that for many young drivers, the evenings after the clock change will be their first experience of driving in the dark.

* In the U.K., clocks will be turned back by one hour on Sunday, Oct. 30, while clocks will change in the U.S. on Sunday, Nov. 6.

** Insure the Box’s findings were based on an analysis of 11,700 U.K. accident claims which occurred during October and November, between 2013 and 2015, based on incident time.

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