'Short skirts' blamed for prangs

With the warm weather upon us at last, a leading insurer is warning of some of the factors which cause a leap in motor accident claims at this time of year.

Research for Norwich Union showed that such claims leap by a whopping 50% on the hottest days of the year, prompting the firm to urge drivers to be extra careful during heatwaves.

The dramatic increase in claims could partly be down to what Norwich Union terms the "short skirt effect", with drivers distracted by revealing summer outfits and being prone to minor prangs as a result.

"The nation comes alive in the sun and there are certainly more distractions than usual on a hot sunny day," said Nigel Bartram from Norwich Union. "We don't want to put a dampener on the good mood, but our claims data speaks for itself and we would urge drivers to be aware of the potential dangers when they hit the roads in the heat."

Other factors that could be to blame for the rise in motoring accident rates on hot days include the effects of sunstroke or alcohol intake; the 'flip flop effect', when drivers wear inappropriate footwear; impaired reaction times due to hot car interiors; and business and holiday traffic mixing.

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