AXA reveals one in four parents have been involved in a car accident whilst taking their children to school

4 September 2017

Posted in Product

by Rebecca D'Cunha (see media contact)

  • One in four parents said that they were involved in a car accident whilst taking their children to school during the last academic year.
  • Data from AXA reveals motorists are 33 per cent more likely to claim at 7am, 47 per cent more likely at 8am and 37 per cent more likely at 9am in September compared to August.
  • Rushing seems to be the main cause of issues during the school run, with 46 per cent of parents saying they often spend mornings clock-watching in order to get their children to school on time.
  • Respondents provide tips for improving mornings, including having fun with countdown timers to encourage kids to get ready. 

 

With the majority of schools going back this week, AXA Insurance reveals one in four parents1 were involved in a car accident whilst taking their children to school during the last academic year. Nine per cent claimed that they had been in a somewhat major accident, whilst another eight per cent said their accident was ‘severe’. Eighteen per cent also said that whilst they had not been involved in an accident, they had been involved in at least one near miss.

Unfortunately, when schools go back, the increase in people on the roads naturally leads to a higher likelihood of being involved in an accident. Claims data from AXA2 shows that the amount of claims made between 7am and 9am in September increases drastically compared to August, as motorists are 33 per cent more likely to claim at 7am, 47 per cent more likely at 8am and 37 per cent more likely at 9am.

A number of these accidents occur on or near the school gates: one in six parents claimed their accident occurred near the school or in the school car park with someone they know. It is therefore not surprising that 42 per cent of parents believe that even though their child’s school tries to help when it comes to road safety around the area, they could do more.

Ideas include creating more designated parking spaces (37 per cent), working with local residents to  make sure they don’t block roads for parents and vice versa (31 per cent) and making sure children don’t stand around the car park or in front of the school (24 per cent).

Causes of school-run accidents

Driving during rush hour can often be stressful, with 39 per cent of parents saying that other drivers rushing makes them feel like them and their children are in danger. Rushing seems to be the main cause of issues during the school run, with 46 per cent of parents saying they often spend mornings clock-watching in order to get their children to school on time.

One in three parents also said they often feel stressed in the morning, whilst a quarter regularly experience frustration and 15 per cent are overwhelmed. Some of the biggest challenges parents face are children arguing about what they want to wear (33 per cent), throwing their breakfast on the floor (25 per cent) and their spouse not helping (31 per cent).

Ways to improve the school run

Running late is something most parents worry about, with 64 per cent and 52 per cent saying running late to school and work respectively distracts them whilst driving their kids to school. However, 67 per cent don’t put any measures in place to help them plan their journeys such as checking traffic reports, messaging other parents or arranging lift shares.

“This week millions of parents (including myself) will be back in the old routine of making sure everyone gets out the house on time and then having to deal with the madness of rush-hour traffic. We all know that this isn’t fun, but in some cases this constant rushing about can leave us distracted, which causes accidents on the road. There are, however, some ways we can make life easier, such as leaving a few minutes earlier, making sure you have had the right amount of sleep, and, most importantly, planning as much as possible the night before.” [Gareth Howell, Managing Director, AXA Direct]

Some respondents have their own clever ways3 of making the school run easier, including:

1. Prep the night before

“Do as much as you can the night before when the children are all in bed. Things take a fraction of the time when there aren't kids distracting you: you're less likely to forget something and you'll be less rushed in the morning. All this massively reduces stress.” 

2. Get moving

“Set off earlier and walk if you can!” 

3. Have some fun

 

“Make sure you wake everyone up early enough so they have enough time to get ready. Try to make it fun by using countdowns or timers and being encouraging.”

1Figures obtained from research commissioned by AXA of 2000 UK parents / grandparents that take their children / grandchildren to nursery or school. The research was carried out by OnePoll in August 2017.

2Statistics from AXA Insurance motor insurance claims for ‘collisions’ only (e.g. excluding fire and theft) made during 2016.

3Submissions may have been edited for clarity