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The weakest necks in Europe? Back Off!

The weakest necks in Europe? Back Off!

As members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), Thorntons supported Injury Prevention Day 2017 and the ‘Back Off’ campaign on 16 August. APIL instigated Injury Prevention Day in an effort to see fewer people needlessly injured. The Back Off campaign aims to educate drivers about the risks associated with dangerous driving habits, in particular, tailgating. Tailgating causes low-speed collisions, injuries and claims as it leaves drivers little stopping distance should the vehicle in front require to brake suddenly.

Amanda Blanc, the chief of insurer giant AXA recently commented that the UK has “the weakest necks in Europe”, citing the number of whiplash injury claims made in the UK compared to its European counterparts. The crucial piece of information UK insurance companies will not tell you is that our roads are 50% more congested than the European average. Take a second to contemplate that. Rush hour in the UK is a different animal than average figures across the European countries. It’s not that the UK has “the weakest necks” in Europe, which is absurd, but, rather that we are far more likely to be in a road traffic accident than the rest of Europe.

In response to the insurers claims, Brett Dixon, APIL President, commented that whiplash injury claims “cost the insurance industry £536 million less in 2016 than in 2013, yet insurers continue to blame whiplash injuries for the high price of premiums. Inflated reports from insurers about the strength of British necks are based on the flimsiest of evidence. In reality, Government figures show that the number of claims has plummeted by 41 per cent since 2010.”

It is hoped the Back Off campaign will encourage drivers to be more careful on our busy roads. By maintaining a two-second gap between themselves and the vehicle in front, drivers can help to prevent accidents and avoid a fine or points on their licence.

APIL launched their ‘Back Off’ campaign with a brand new animated video - you can watch it on YouTube here. It is hoped that the video and wider campaign will encourage safer driving habits and remind drivers to ‘back off’ from the vehicle in front of them. You can support Injury Prevention Day and Back Off on Twitter @APIL and on the dedicated Back Off Facebook page at You can also help raise awareness using the hashtag #IPDay17 and #BackOff.

Gary Mannion is a Partner in our Personal Injury team. For further information, please contact Gary on 01382 346294 or email or contact any member of the Personal Injury team on 0800 731 8434 or via who will be pleased to assist further.