AAMI has released its annual crash index.
AAMI has released its annual crash index.

Most common type of car accident in Australia revealed

AUSTRALIANS are more likely to be involved in one avoidable type of car accident than any other, according to an insurance company's annual crash index.

Among the most common road accidents listed by insurer AAMI, nose-to-tail crashes exceed all others and account for 31 per cent of the 360,000 incidents recorded in the year ending in July.

Rear-enders were the most common accident around the country, with the exception of the less congested roads of Tasmania and Northern Territory.

In these places, the most common collision was with a stationary object. Nationally, 18 per cent of collisions were with something that wasn't moving.

In many cases, autonomous emergency braking works only at lower speeds.
In many cases, autonomous emergency braking works only at lower speeds.

Twenty-three per cent of accidents resulted from a driver's failure to give way and this was the second biggest category nationally.

Collisions while reversing and with a parked car also were common incidents.

AAMI spokeswoman Ashleigh Paterson cites inattention as the main cause of many accidents.

"Driver distraction continues to be the leading cause of car accidents in Australia and these common accident types are generally caused by people taking their eyes off the road or trying to multitask while driving," says Paterson.

"Taking your eyes off the road for just a split-second can have devastating consequences and even the smallest distraction can be deadly. It's just not worth the risk.

"Maintaining a good distance between you and the car in front is one of the most effective ways of keeping yourself and others safe, as it allows additional time to stop if the car in front brakes suddenly."

One new item of active safety technology, available on many new cars, can prevent these accidents altogether.

AEB in most instances can identify and stop for pedestrians.
AEB in most instances can identify and stop for pedestrians.

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) uses radar to detect objects ahead of the vehicle - and in some cases behind - and applies the brakes automatically to prevent a crash. The technology might not apply to all the scenarios recorded but it would reduce accidents by a large number.

Head of the Australiasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) James Goodwin has been advocating for all new cars to have AEB in a bid to reduce the road toll and accidents. Earlier this year he trumpeted the fact that now 31 per cent of new vehicles on sale are equipped with the technology.

"Over the past few years we have been educating the community of the benefits of this technology and, in parallel, pushing vehicle brands to include AEB as standard across model ranges and price points," says Goodwin.

He applauds the fact that one-third of all popular models have the driver assistance tech as standard fitment.

"We've moved some way closer to achieving a reduction in crash incidence and severity - but there is still a long way to go," he says.

The crash test ratings agency marks down vehicles heavily if they are not equipped with AEB and they are unlikely to receive a five-star crash safety rating.