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Reversing accidents could be a major cause of motorists needing second hand car engines and gearbox parts to replace damaged components, a new study suggests.

Reversing accidents

According to figures from Accident Exchange, there are nearly 200,000 reversing accidents annually in the UK, equivalent to more than 500 each day and with an average repair cost of £2,123.

This means that UK motorists send a combined £409 million every year to cover the cost of damage caused by accidents involving someone reversing their car.

The majority of incidents involved the 'at fault' driver colliding with the innocent party's stationary vehicle, usually in a car park or when reversing from a driveway or narrow side road.

And with car parks likely to be even more congested than usual in the mad last-minute shopping dash before Christmas, Accident Exchange is urging motorists to take steps to avoid such accidents.

"Despite the proliferation of technology such as parking sensors and reverse cameras, drivers are not taking enough care to accurately check their surroundings whilst reversing," said the company's Lee Woodley.

"Accidents can and always will happen, but perhaps drivers are mollycoddled by their vehicles too much these days - it is easy to become over reliant on technology, pampered by their vehicle's cosy, quiet environment."

Meanwhile, this week has also seen motorists warned not to leave their vehicles unattended while they wait for them to de-ice with the engine on.

According to vehicle recovery specialist Tracker, a cold snap is usually quickly followed by a rise in 'frost jackings', which sees thieves make off with cars that have been on the drive with the keys in the ignition.

"Would you leave an open briefcase containing £30,000 cash or more on your driveway or outside the local newsagent on a frosty morning?" said the company's police relationships manager Stuart Chapman.

"The answer is undoubtedly no. However, unbelievable as it sounds, each morning many motorists leave their car unattended with the engine running, making it easy for thieves to drive off with it with no extra effort."