Eyes on the road! National survey reveals top causes for car accidents!

AA Insurance’s latest motor survey estimates 267,000 Kiwis have been in a car accident in the past year, with our youngest drivers – those aged 18-29 years old – most likely to have had a collision.

A third (34%) of drivers who had been involved in an accident said driver distraction was the cause. Poor weather conditions (14%) and reckless/dangerous driving (11%) rounded out the top three.

Drivers were also asked to identify the source of the distraction, with ‘other road users’ ranking top (17%), followed by texting or using data on your mobile phone (4%), children in your vehicle (3%), and good-looking pedestrians, drivers or other passengers (3%).

AA Insurance Head of Motor Claims Beau Paparoa said the outcome for distracted drivers is never positive. Along with the risk of injury to themselves or others, distracted drivers are contributing to an increase in motor claims, which can end up impacting customers’ insurance premiums.

“Over the past 12 months we’ve seen a 17% year-on-year increase in motor claims involving car collisions with a total cost of more than $243 million. As an insurer, one of the big challenges we have seen since Covid is the cost and availability of parts due to the rapid growth of technology in cars, making these claims increasingly more complex and expensive than in the past. For example, your car bumper isn't just plastic or metal anymore. New technologies, including rear cameras and sensors attached to bumpers, are making repairs more complex and costs much higher.

“We are working on ways to make our repair processes more cost effective and efficient to try and combat these trends, and at the same time reminding Kiwis that many accidents can be avoided if distractions are minimised,” Paparoa said.

“Multi-tasking might be great at home but in the car, it’s got trouble written all over it. While every parent knows there’s not much you can do about a wild child in the backseat, a lot of distractions are in our control. Simple things like picking your beats before you hit the road can save you a lot of hurt, as can investing in an inexpensive car mount to hold your phone and pre-loading your route when you need directions.”

Biggest distractions causing car accidents

  1. Other road users e.g., trucks, cyclists, scooters, motorbikes, drivers or passengers in other vehicles (17%)

  2. Texting or using data on your mobile phone (4%)

  3. Children (3%)

  4. Pedestrians, drivers or other passengers whom you find attractive (3%)

  5. Passengers in your vehicles (3%)

  6. Pedestrians (3%)

  7. Changing your radio/iPod/MP3 player (2%)

  8. Windscreen washers/charity collectors and other who are collecting money (2%)

  9. Talking on your mobile phone (2%)

  10. Using GPS or other navigation systems (2%)

  11. Pets in your vehicles (1%)

About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 930+ staff look after over 480,000 customers with 970,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Variety NZ and Eden Park and have been consistently recognised by: Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands (since 2011) and Quality Service Awards for Car, and Home and Contents Insurance (since 2015), Kantar Customer Leadership Index (since 2019), Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers (2011-2018), and the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015) that recognises New Zealand’s most successful companies. AA Insurance was also named Consumer NZ People’s Choice award winner for car, home and contents (2019 and 2020).

AA Insurance has an AA- (Very Strong) Insurer Financial Strength Rating given by Standard and Poor’s (Australia) Pty Ltd. For further information visit aainsurance.co.nz.

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Media Team, AA Insurance, 027 406 1787, mediacontact@aainsurance.co.nz

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