Ballarat motorists are the worst drivers in Victoria when reversing, according to the RACV.
The latest data from the RACV shows 29 per cent of car accidents involving Ballarat drivers occurred when a driver was reversing, a higher percentage than anywhere else in Victoria.
In the five-year period to 2015 there were 2206 insurance claims made for reversing collisions.
Ballarat was just ahead of Bendigo – which had 1899 claims made over the five year period.
Next was Macedon Ranges Shire with 1087 claims (22 per cent of total claims), Hepburn Shire with 231 claims (21 per cent) and Mount Alexander Shire with 190 claims (25 per cent). In total, more than 6000 reversing collisions were recorded across the Central Highlands and Goldfields local government areas from 2010 to 2015.
Ballarat also recorded a higher percentage of reversing crashes than Geelong and all Melbourne suburbs.
RACV General Manager Insurance, Paul Northey said state-wide reversing collision claims accounted for 24 per cent of all collision claims. In the Central Highlands and Goldfields region, that figure was 29 per cent.
“You can’t turn back time, so take care when reversing,” was Mr Northey’s message.
“The average cost of these collisions rose from about $1800 in 2011 to more than $2600 in 2015,” he said.
Mr Northey said car parks (including shopping centres) and driveways were the two most common locations for reversing collisions, accounting for 28 and 26 per cent respectively for the five-year period to 2015.
Recently all emergency services were call to an incident at Ballarat’s Sturt Street IGA where police allege a driver reversed, hitting a parked car which was then pushed through a shop-front window.
“Close to a quarter of a billion dollars’ worth of claims were lodged for reversing collisions in driveways during the past five years,” he said.
“More importantly though, these are areas where children are often playing, walking or riding bikes, which really highlights the need for drivers to take care when reversing.
“We urge parents and carers never to let children play in driveways and to make sure they know what is going on behind their car at all times.”
RACV recently released its annual Reversing Visibility Index, which tested 240 vehicles on a scale of zero-to-five stars to help motorists choose a model with better rear visibility.
This year, 65 per cent of vehicles tested scored five stars, compared with 53 per cent in 2015.
RACV has welcomed the improvements in reversing visibility technology in vehicles, but has called on car manufacturers to have cameras included as standard in all models.
“Motorists who are not ready to upgrade their car to one that has a reversing camera could consider having a camera or sensors retro-fitted, which could improve the visibility of the car to a five-star standard,” Mr Northey said.
“Even if your car has parking sensors or a reversing camera fitted, you should not rely on these alone.
Make sure you also check the rear-view mirror and look over your shoulder to ensure there are no people or obstacles in the vehicle’s path.”
Mr Northey said that for the five-year period to 2015, more than half of the reversing collision claims resulted from incidents where the insured driver was at fault – either by causing a collision with another vehicle (34 per cent) or reversing into an object (23 per cent).
“Motorists need to recognise when they are driving in confined and busy spaces, or when they are stressed,” he said.
“Take your time, stay calm and be courteous to other drivers.”
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