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Hard Shoulder Hazard: 24 Vehicles Per Week Crash Into Parked Cars On Uk Hard Shoulders

19th August 2019

* 750,000 traffic incidents occurred on UK roads in the past three years.

*24 vehicles per week crashed while overtaking a static vehicle

A fifth (19 per cent) of these incidents resulted in serious injury or death.

*The most dangerous drivers are in the capital - two fifths (41 per cent) of road traffic collisions with a stationary vehicle occurred in London

*440 traffic incidents per day will occur over the August bank holiday

Green Flag has released common sense tips to help drivers stay safe over the bank holiday weekend.

With the August Bank Holiday fast approaching, and motorists across the nation set to take to the roads for mini-breaks, breakdown cover provider Green Flag has released statistics* around road traffic incidents - how they occur, the places they are most likely to occur, and how many fatalities happen as a result.

26 August - but not in Scotland.

Incidents On The Road

A whopping 750,000 traffic incidents occurred on UK roads between 2015 and 2017, meaning that there were 684 traffic incidents each day during this three-year period.

Almost 9,000 of these incidents involved a vehicle colliding with a stationary vehicle, while two-fifths (42 per cent) of these incidents occurred on a motorway or a main road hard shoulder. This means that every week, a whopping 24 vehicles hit a parked car in a hard shoulder on a major road, which is an average of 3.5 every day. Shockingly, almost a fifth (19 per cent) of these incidents involving a vehicle collision with a parked car on a motorway or main road hard shoulder resulted in serious injury or death.

August Bank Holiday

With August Bank Holiday traffic set to wreak havoc on UK roads causing delays across the nation, research has shown that a high number of traffic incidents will occur. Over the last three years, almost 42,000 traffic incidents have taken place during bank holiday weekends, which equates to 440 per day. Motorists should beware of motorways during bank holidays as these are a danger zone for incidents, with over half (52 per cent) of incidents occurring on main roads. Alarmingly, for every traffic incident on UK roads, on average, 1.4 casualties** will occur, with drivers most at risk (76 per cent), ahead of pedestrians (18 per cent) and passengers (five per cent). As a consequence, over the past three years, there have been 85,700 serious injuries or fatalities as a result of collisions on the road.

UK Hotspots For Incidents

Perhaps unsurprisingly, London is a hotspot for incidents involving cars crashing into stationary vehicles, with a whopping two-fifths (41 per cent) of incidents occurring in the capital. Drivers in Wandsworth, Lambeth, Westminster and Brent should beware as these are the most dangerous boroughs within the capital for traffic incidents. Elsewhere in the UK, other hotspots for road collisions include the West Midlands, West Yorkshire and Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

Damon Jowett, at Green Flag, commented: "It's important for people to be aware of the danger of driving on motorways, which are a hotspot for traffic incidents and resulting fatalities. Many accidents can be prevented. If there is a vehicle stopped on the hard shoulder, drivers need to slow down and move their vehicle over to the next lane if safe to do so. This simple manoeuvre not only helps protect the drivers and passengers in the stationary vehicle, but it also safeguards our roadside workers as they assist them.

"At Green Flag, we want to ensure that drivers can enjoy their August bank holiday weekend by staying safe on the roads. It's important for motorists to be vigilant and drive safely, which is why we are urging drivers to thoroughly check their cars before setting off on any long journeys."

Guidance on how to stay safe after breaking down on a motorway or dual carriageway can be found on Green Flag's website

Ahead of the bank holiday, Green Flag has released the following common-sense tips, to help drivers, reach their destinations safely:

Walk around the car and look for any signs of potential trouble, especially tyres and lights

Check tyre pressures, spare included

Check all fluid levels and top up if necessary

Make sure you have breakdown cover. If you're travelling abroad, make sure your cover extends to your trip away. If it doesn't, you may need to arrange separate cover

Keep a road map in the car so you'll be able to explain where you are when you call for help. Don’t rely on the map on your phone - you won’t always have signal

Make sure your phone battery is topped up - think about buying an in-car charger just in case you need it

Have the number for your emergency breakdown provider handy - you’ll usually find it on your policy certificate, so you could keep this in the glove box

Carry a red warning triangle at all times

Always keep some water and snacks in the car, in case you get stuck for a long time

For more information about how to make sure your car is road ready visit

No hard shoulders in the far north but still beware of parked vehicles on roads for poor visibility for oncoming traffic and children or animals darting out from behind them. Watch also for alighting passengers from buses who may try to cross the road in front of the bus.