Tailgating causes lots of crashes in NSW.
Tailgating causes lots of crashes in NSW. Contributed

Tailgating: Is it the most dangerous driving behaviour?

DRIVERS in New South Wales drivers are more likely to damage their car in a tailgating accident than by any other means, according to new data.

Almost one in five motor insurance claims are for accidents where a driver has been 'hit in the rear' (19%), with 'damage while parked' (15%) and 'glass damage' (15%) taking out the second and third spots, Allianz research has shown.

Allianz's motoring general manager, Leanne Hendry, said it was important for drivers to take extra precautions to ensure they get to their destinations safely, particularly in the lead-up to the holiday season.

Ms Hendry said the high frequency of 'hit in the rear' accidents in NSW highlights the importance of maintaining a safe distance between cars.

"This is especially true in heavy traffic when motorists may be tempted to drive too closely to the car in front of them," she said.

Bad drivers in other states

  • Victoria: One in four drivers claim for 'hit in the rear' accidents
  • South Australia: Lots of claims for vehicles damaged while parked (19%) and also the highest percentage of claims for damage while reversing (18%)
  • Queensland: One in four claims are for broken glass
  • Western Australia: 27% of the state's motor claims being for glass damage.

"Of course, you can take every precaution and still find yourself needing to make a claim on your insurance policy," Ms Hendry said.

"So, if you do have an accident, move yourself and any passengers to a safe place, call 000 if anyone has been hurt, exchange details with the other driver/s and take photos of the scene.

"Then contact your insurer to discuss your next steps, including moving your damaged vehicle and, if your policy allows, using a hire car while yours is being repaired."

Tips for safe driving

  • Keep a safe distance at all times with the vehicle in front
  • Take regular rest breaks, at least every two hours
  • Always wear your seat belt
  • Take extra precautions when driving in bad weather
  • Avoid distractions, including listening to loud music and texting while driving
  • Keep your vehicle in top condition with regular services and maintenance
  • Practice defensive driving and try to anticipate what could happen ahead
  • Stick to the speed limit
  • Don't drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Buy, install and use a cradle for your phone.

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