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Research pinpoints most likely time drivers will crash

Media release 1 May 2014

Research pinpoints most likely time drivers will crash

Tomorrow (Friday 2 May) is one of the riskiest days of the year for Kiwi drivers to be on the road, according to research by IAG New Zealand.

Statistics gathered by the insurer, which trades under the State, AMI, NZI and Lantern brands, shows the highest number of collisions happen in May, as the season is turning from autumn to winter.

IAG analysed claims from customers with comprehensive car cover between 2011 and 2013.

It found the end of the working week to be the most perilous days for drivers, with 15% more accidents than average happening on Fridays than any other day across the three years.

Close behind was Thursday when the second highest number of collisions – 13% more than average – were recorded for the same period.

Predictably, weekday rush hour traffic was found to be among the most dangerous times to drive, with accidents peaking between 4pm and 5pm (9.8% and 9.6% of all collisions respectively) and at 8am (8.5% of all accidents).

At weekends, prime times for collisions were at 11am (10.3% of all accidents) and at 12pm (10.1% of all collisions), according to the statistics.

Commenting on the figures, Robert McDonald, Research Manager for IAG, said: “The number of accidents occurring at peak travel hours in the afternoon signifies that apart from increased traffic density, people are tired at the end of the work day.

“It also suggests on Thursdays or Fridays, drivers are distracted by thoughts of weekend leisure activities."

The research revealed overall collisions increased by 3% in 2013 compared with the previous year.

Robert warned motorists of the dangers of rushing straight from work, packing up the car and heading off for the weekend without a break.

“Rest breaks are even more important when you’re already tired after a long week at work,” he said.

“Driving at night also increases the likelihood of fatigue and having a car full of excited kids provides lots of potential distractions.

“If possible, leave earlier in the afternoon or delay departure until Saturday morning when you’re properly rested."

Statistics from the Ministry of Transport show fatigue to have been a major contributing factor in 514 car accidents that happened in 2013.

Lack of car maintenance, such as incorrect tyre type or worn tread, was also a factor in 178 collisions in the same year.

Brendan McGillicuddy, IAG’s Direct Insurance Claims General Manager, said State and AMI’s new apps – State Stay Safe and AMI Assist – launched earlier this month are aimed at minimising this type of risk for customers.

Customers insured with either State or AMI can download the relevant app free of charge from iTunes to claim discounts on tyres and WoFs and collect complimentary coffees and snacks among other benefits.

“AMI Assist and State Stay Safe encourage drivers to check their vehicle is roadworthy at all times, not just when their WoF is due or they notice a problem with their car,” Brendan said.

“Fatigue is a major factor in a high number of road accidents – we hope that benefits like a free coffee or pie will entice motorists to stop and take a break when they feel tired."

See IAG NZ’s blog for the online version of this media release and more information on keeping your vehicle roadworthy:


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