Keep Christ­mas shop­ping crash-free

Shepparton News - Shepparton Car Weekly - - SHEPPARTON CAR WEEKLY -

RACV In­sur­ance claims data has found that De­cem­ber is the worst month for crashes as the preChrist­mas shop­ping frenzy turns car parks into vir­tual ‘ bat­tle zones’.

In the past fi­nan­cial year, there were al­most 15 000 car park­ing claims lodged by RACV in­sur­ance mem­bers, about 41 bin­gles per day, with an av­er­age re­pair bill of $ 1650.

The fig­ures show that nearly one in ten ac­ci­dents in car parks were in De­cem­ber, fol­lowed by March with nine per cent and Jan­uary 8.7 per cent, while the low­est num­ber of in­ci­dents was in Au­gust with 7.6 per cent.

RACV in­sur­ance gen­eral man­ager Paul Northey said shop­pers need to be pa­tient when driv­ing and park­ing in shop­ping ar­eas and to take ex­tra care at busy times.

“Th­ese cen­tres are at­tract­ing more and more time-poor peo­ple who are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly frus­trated by the vol­ume of traf­fic, es­pe­cially at peak sales times such as Christ­mas,” he said.

“If driv­ing, make sure you al­low ad­di­tional time to find a park, and pay ex­tra at­ten­tion to cars and pedes­tri­ans who may dis­tract or sur­prise you as you are driv­ing, re­sult­ing in an ac­ci­dent.”

Mr Northey said typ­i­cal park­ing col­li­sions in­cluded hit­ting other ve­hi­cles, trol­leys, rail­ings, walls and poles with about 43 per cent oc­cur­ring while re­vers­ing and 15 per cent where no other ve­hi­cle was in­volved.

He said fol­low­ing the road rules in shop­ping precincts was par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in avoid­ing a park­ing bin­gle.

“Disobey­ing traf­fic sig­nals and signs, in­clud­ing driv­ing the wrong way up a one way aisle and il­le­gal park­ing are two com­mon ways of cre­at­ing un­nec­es­sary driv­ing haz­ards,” he said.

RACV In­sur­ance rec­om­mends that RACV mem­bers and all driv­ers should: • Be alert at all times and watch out for other driv­ers who may dis­obey traf­fic sig­nals, such as one-way signs, or who park in­cor­rectly. • Drive slowly and watch for pedes­tri­ans, es­pe­cially young chil­dren ex­cited by Christ­mas shop­ping who may be­have un­pre­dictably. • Be careful when re­vers­ing and don’t just rely on your mir­rors – look over your shoul­der. • Be aware of your sur­rounds, and if fea­si­ble, con­sider new tech­nol­ogy such as cam­eras and re­vers­ing sen­sors. • Do your bit to keep the car park free of ob­sta­cles and haz­ards by re­turn­ing shop­ping trol­leys to des­ig­nated ar­eas. If you are in­volved in a col­li­sion and hit an­other parked ve­hi­cle when the owner is not present, re­port it to the near­est po­lice sta­tion as soon as pos­si­ble. Also leave a note for the other driver as a cour­tesy.

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