Tailgating, impatience, failing to indicate, roundabouts and small turning circles in car parks are all top contributors to the most common traffic accidents on Canberra's roads.
An analysis of almost 250,000 claims by insurer AAMI for its annual crash index shows that the most common accident types in Australia are nose-to-tail collisions and parked car dings.
Despite the generally high standard of Canberra's roads, ACT drivers are slightly more likely to be involved in nose-to-tail accidents than drivers in most other jurisdictions (28.4 per cent, compared to 27.8 per cent Australia-wide).
AAMI corporate affairs manager Reuben Aitchison said insurance assessors had noticed fewer accidents caused by a failure to give way, but more drivers were crashing into stationary objects, such as parked cars. "They get a lot of cars coming in that have collided with bollards or other vehicles driving in shopping centre car parks,'' he said.
"Some of the major shopping centres are trying to squeeze thousands of cars into some of these car parks. They're not building them as fast as the number of cars are increasing, so the turning circles are a lot smaller than they used to be.''
Mr Reuben said failing to indicate on roundabouts and impatience were the causes of many accidents.
"It probably can be argued that drivers in Canberra are simply more impatient than drivers in other states,'' he said. "The roads might not be as congested but they're in more of a hurry to get where they're going.''
The ACT government plans to install traffic lights at the Barton Highway/William Slim Drive/Gundaroo Drive roundabout, which is one of the most common places for car accidents in the territory.
Mr Reuben said changes to drivers' behaviour could help lower accident rates. Survey results showed 70 per cent of people who had an accident in the past five years thought that it was avoidable.
"We could make a massive difference to these stats if we just paid more attention,'' Mr Aitchison said.
"Then, I hope, it's within our power to make a difference ourselves.''
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