The number of crashes caused by blind spots has risen by almost 50% over the last two years, a study has found (Telegraph).
An analysis of 50,000 crashes by Accident Exchange, a crash management company, has uncovered a 48% rise between 2009 and 2011.
According to the Telegraph report, the problem has been partly caused by more stringent safety requirements imposed by the European Union. With cars now being built of lighter materials they need to be reinforced to provide protection in the event of a crash. This has led to a thickening of pillars, which can result in poor visibility.
A number of manufacturers are now devising new safety measures to minimise the problem. Volvo and Mercedes have blind spot cameras that flash a warning onto the car mirror if they detect another vehicle.
Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), said: “All drivers need to be aware that every vehicle has its blind spots and that these will always be different. That is why some car manufacturers such as Volvo have developed blind spot information systems.
“There is a trade-off between occupant protection and all-round visibility. Drivers need to make sure that improvements in their safety do not compromise the safety of others.”
Andrew Howard, the AA’s head of road safety, added: “Lane changes collisions are the result of a number of factors.
“Drivers need to check their mirrors and look over their shoulder to ensure that they have covered any potential blind spots.”
“An increase in motorway lanes coupled with congestion has led to more undertaking so drivers need to expect the unexpected and look out for undertakers.
“More solid vehicle structures and an increase in left hand drive trucks also contribute to side swipes.”
Click here to read the full Telegraph report.