What are the most common types of car accident in the ACT?

Published 20 Dec 2017

Author: Nassir Bechara

Manufacturers have taken great strides in recent years to make vehicles safer for drivers, passengers and other road users. But traffic accidents remain a significant hazard in modern society.

In fact, they are the third most frequent cause of death in people aged between 25 and 44, according to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare figures. For children aged between one and 14, land transport accidents are the country’s biggest killer.

Understanding how and why motor vehicle crashes occur can help people protect themselves and their families better while on the road. Here are the most common types of car accident in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

Accident frequency versus severity

Nearly 45 per cent of collisions are drivers rear-ending each other. There were 3,465 rear-end crashes in the ACT in 2015, state government figures show.

The majority of people who were involved in these incidents came away unscathed. But a rear-end collision was still responsible for one of the 14 deaths that occurred on ACT roads that year.

The most likely accident to result in a fatality is a head-on collision. While there were only 53 head-on crashes in 2015 (less than 1 per cent of the total), four people died and 17 were injured.

Despite this, ACT government analysis revealed that the most ‘severe’ accidents are right-angle collisions, which is when the front of one vehicle ploughs into the side of another.

Severity takes into account both frequency and injury rates. Right-angle crashes comprised almost 14 per cent of all incidents in 2015, with 159 collisions causing injury, as well as two deaths.

Canberra is animal crash hotspot

The ACT government report showed the territory consistently reports the fewest road accident deaths in Australia per 100,000 people.

Nevertheless, insurer AAMI recently said the ACT holds the dubious honour of containing the national hotspot for animal collisions. Canberra’s regional setting and proximity to bushland means local drivers often strike animals on the road.

“Wildlife is unpredictable and can appear out of nowhere, so it’s vital to be extra cautious, particularly in areas which [have] high volumes of wildlife,” AAMI Spokesperson Ashleigh Paterson stated.

ACT government statistics showed animal collisions were responsible for 172 vehicle accidents in 2015, although only one of these incidents caused injury to the road user.