May 25, 2010
Wider cars blamed for more accidents
Experts say wider vehicles, designed to have extra safety features and enhance comfort are a “major contributory factor” in crashes on minor rural roads where one in 40 accidents occur.
They are also a hazard in urban streets where the conversion of houses into flats means roads are lined with parked vehicles.
The problem has been managed on main roads by widening lanes Rules on lane sizes were changed in 2005 so that major A roads and motorways are now 3.65 meters wide. But smaller rural and urban are just 2.43 meters wide on average.
Accident management firm Accident Exchange says motorists are finding it increasingly difficult to judge the width of their car and advises drivers to exercise caution.
The company’s claims experts calculate accidents caused by ‘narrow road blindness’ on country lanes leave drivers with bills averaging £2,300 for repairs to bodywork panels.
“The ever increasing waistline of the modern car is a major contributory factor in crashes on Britain’s roads,” said claims settlement director Lee Woodley.
BMW spokesman Gavin Ward said legislation has forced car makers to fit larger wing mirrors and thicker windscreen and door pillars.