‘Twas the week before Christmas for the car park ding

20 December 2012

Motor collisions spike in the week before Christmas as last minute shoppers rush to stores, according to new data from SGIC*

The insurer’s claims data showed that collision claims increase by 18 per cent in the week before Christmas.
SGIC spokesperson Mariana Cidade said the lead up to Christmas sees many of us on the road and in shopping centre car parks.
“The quick dash to the shopping centre to collect a last minute gift may cost you more than you think if you end up involved in a collision."
In fact, we found that car park collisions across the whole of December spike by 9 per cent above the annual average, with Thursday the most common day for a car park collision.
Typical parking collisions involved reversing into other cars, runaway shopping trolleys and scrapes with pylons and poles.
"We’re calling on shoppers to drive carefully this festive season and be particularly mindful not to dent their Christmas spirit in the car park,” said Ms Cidade.

SGIC offers some tips for the pre-Christmas rush:

  • 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 Car Insurance claims over the last five years