Changing lanes not an easy move for SA drivers

03 August 2011

Merging is still a pressure point for SA drivers with collisions continuing to rise over the last three years along some major SA arterials according to SGIC claims data*.

The top spots on SA roads for merging collisions in 2010 are:

  • Main North Road – Pooraka, North Adelaide, Regency Park, Elizabeth, Elizabeth East, Adelaide, Salisbury Plain and Prospect areas
  • South Road – O’Halloran Hill, Regency Park, Adelaide, Seaford, Croydon, Hindmarsh and Edwardstown areas
  • North East Road - Modbury, Walkerville, Windsor Gardens and Hampstead Gardens areas
  • Port Road – Hindmarsh and Port Adelaide areas

SGIC Head of Research Robert McDonald said that merging collisions on SA roads resulted in nearly a million dollars in claim costs each year.

“Main North Road had the most merging collisions in the state, but South Road had the biggest increase with nearly five times more merging collisions in 2010.”

Mr McDonald said that as well as the increase in merging collision claims, recent research saw over 50 per cent of SA respondents listing merging incorrectly as their top frustration on the road**.

Mr McDonald said the claims data and the driver research showed that drivers need to refresh their road rules knowledge and take more caution when merging.

“The rules when merging are straightforward — when two lines of traffic become one and there are no marked lines, a driver must give way to any vehicle that is ahead of their own. And if a vehicle wants to move from one marked lane of traffic into another, they must give way to the lane of traffic they are moving into."*

“Being courteous and allowing other vehicles to move smoothly into lanes can help everyone reduce the risk of a collision,” Mr McDonald said.

SGIC Insurance offers the following tips to drivers:

  • merge at a similar speed to the traffic you are merging with – this will make merging easier and assist with traffic flow;
  • don’t change lanes abruptly, move smoothly into lanes – this can help to reduce the risk of a collision;
  • maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you to avoid clipping the car when merging;
  • always use your indicators when merging or changing lanes so other drivers are aware of where you are going.

* Based on SGIC motor comprehensive claims data sourced in May 2011 for the period of 2008 to 2010.

** Based on Pure Profile Research, May 2011.