7 December 2018

Rear-ending accounts for a third of all Canberra car accidents according to recent study

| Lachlan Roberts
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Rear-ending, like this accident on Tuggeranong Parkway a couple of months ago, is the most common car accident in Canberra. Photo: George Tsotsos.

The most common types of car accidents on Canberra roads have been revealed, with a third of all car crashes in Australia and the nation’s capital caused by nose-to-tail collisions.

According to the latest annual crash index from car insurer AAMI, which analysed almost 8,000 crashes on ACT roads in the last financial year, one in three crashes were nose-to-tail collisions.

This is the third year in a row that nose-to-tail collisions have topped the list of ACT accidents while nearly one in five accidents on Canberra roads was due to colliding with a stationary object.

AAMI spokesperson Ashleigh Paterson said the index proved a timely reminder to motorists ahead of the festive season to pay more attention behind the wheel and ensure impatience does not get the better of them.

“Driver distraction continues to be a leading cause of nose-to-tail and parked car crashes. If you get behind the wheel of a car you should be concentrating on what’s in front of you, what’s happening around you and driving to the conditions,” said Ms Paterson.

“Most of the time it comes down to people becoming distracted and multi-tasking while driving. Taking your eyes off the road for just a split second can have devastating consequences, and even the smallest distraction can be deadly. It’s just not worth the risk.”

While nose-to-tail collisions top the list of the types of accidents, according to the National Road Safety Partnership Program, the three leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in Australia are speeding, fatigue, and distraction.

Ms Paterson said a high proportion of nose-to-tail collisions in Australia’s capital could also be linked to ‘tailgating’ behaviour and implored ACT drivers to be more cautious.

“Maintaining a good distance between you and the car in front is one of the most effective ways of keeping yourself and others safe as it allows additional time to stop if the car in front suddenly brakes.”

Analysis of AAMI’s claims data, covering almost 8,000 accidents in the ACT from July 2017 to June 2018, showed the most common types of crashes are:

The Crash Index also revealed that ACT drivers are more likely to collide with a stationary object, compared to the rest of the country. ACT drivers are also almost twice as likely to hit an animal on the road compared to the national average.

“Unfortunately, these types of accidents continue to be common occurrences on our roads, despite many of them being avoidable,” Ms Paterson said. “With one in five motor accidents attributed to colliding with a stationary object, it’s clear ACT drivers need to focus their attention on being more aware of their surroundings.

“Wildlife can be unpredictable, so we encourage drivers to always expect the unexpected on the road, particularly in signposted wildlife areas and especially at dawn and dusk.”

Analysis of AAMI’s national data also revealed the most common time of day for accidents in Australia is in the afternoon from 1 pm – 4:30 pm as 27 per cent of all crashes happen at that time. It is speculated that this could be linked to school pickups.

The morning commute from 9.30 am -1 pm was the second most common time with 24 per cent of all crashes occurring, followed by the evening peak from 4.30 pm -8 pm with 20 per cent of all crashes happening at that time.

Friday was also found to be the most common day of the week for car accidents with nearly one in five (16 per cent) of all accidents occurring. In contrast, only 10 per cent of accidents occurs on a Sunday, making it the day people are least likely to have an accident.

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I’ve had the rear of my car smashed twice.

First time on Horse Park Drive. Someone in front of me stopped suddenly without warning to turn right, but in the through lane, not the right hand lane. I managed evasive action, but the car behind me didn’t manage the same and rammed my car. My car was written off.

Second time in a Civic carpark. I was in the central lane, when someone suddenly backed out of a parking spot and SLAMMED into the rear of my car. They must have ‘planted’ it, as although the car was fixed I was told there was quite a bit of damage under the exterior damage. It was a huge thud.

Fortunately I was not the driver at fault in either case.

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