According to data from accident aftercare provider AX, the number of rear-end collisions on UK roads fell by 27% last year.

Likely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, overall, the number of collisions during 2020 was down and the share of cars damaged by being ‘hit in rear’ fell 5.6%, making up just 24.7% of all accidents handled by AX.

Hit while parked’ became the most common type of collision, accounting for nearly a third of the total.

AX believes that as well as fewer journeys being made, safety technology such as automatic emergency braking (now equipped as standard on most new vehicles), could have played a part in reducing rear-end collisions. However, it’s widely felt that drivers need more training to make the most of advanced safety technology.

AX’s data showed a shift in the peak time of day for accidents to occur. This is unsurprising as millions of people now work from home.

The evening commute between 17:00 and 18:00 typically experiences the highest accident rate, but last year the peak shifted to the school run rush hour between 15:00 and 16:00. Although many offices were closed throughout the pandemic, schools remained open from September until Christmas.

Scott Hamilton-Cooper, director of sales and operations at AX, said: “It’s fascinating to see how the pandemic has impacted how and when collisions occur. For instance, our data shows a definite shift of incidents to early and mid-afternoon from the typical morning rush hour.

“Ordinarily, our data would show that November to March is when the greatest number of accidents occur – when the days are shorter, there’s more rainfall and, at times, wintery conditions can make the roads treacherous.

“However, the result of two national lockdowns, in addition to a change in vehicle congestion levels during this period, means our data will paint a very different picture this winter”.