Be careful this Christmas in the car park according to SGIC

06 December 2011

As the Christmas shopping frenzy starts to increase so do car park collisions according to new data from SGIC*.

The insurer's claims data showed that last year in SA, car park collisions in December spiked by 24 per cent above the annual average and Friday was the most common day for a car park collision.

SGIC spokesperson Tracy Woodley said the lead-up to Christmas is busy enough without adding the stress of a collision.

"Research shows that 65 per cent of SA drivers get stressed when trying to find a car park during the Christmas rush so we want to urge shoppers to try and stay calm while at the wheel**.

"Stress can affect your concentration and losing focus for even one second, puts you at greater risk of having a collision.

"We also want to encourage drivers to obey the parking rules and get into the Christmas spirit by being considerate and alert for other drivers when circling the car park.

"Typical parking collisions involved reversing into other cars, runaway shopping trolleys and scrapes with pylons and poles.

"With Christmas around the corner, we're calling for shoppers to allow for extra time and to take it easy while at the wheel to help keep your Christmas cheer," said Ms Woodley.

SGIC Car Insurance offers some tips for a less stressful Christmas parking experience:

  • Obey the parking rules and traffic directions and be alert for other drivers who don't;
  • When reversing in or out of a car space, go slow and don’t just rely on your mirrors - look over your shoulder as well;
  • Reversing cameras and sensors can help, but drivers should still be aware of what's around them;
  • If you can, reverse into a car space, so it's easier to see in both directions when pulling out;
  • Do your bit by returning shopping trolleys to their bay;
  • Use indicators every time you make a turn;
  • Don't pull out around cars that are waiting to drive into a parking space – be patient and give them room to move;
  • If you hit a parked car, do the right thing and leave a note with your details;
  • If you witness a collision, pass on any information you have to the innocent party.

* Based on SGIC Comprehensive Car Insurance claims FY 10 / 11

** Based on a survey of 470 SA drivers by Pure Profile research in October 2011