South Australian motorists are being warned to leave a safe stopping distance during this week’s wet weather as RAA Insurance data shows rear-end collision crash claims rise in winter.
Last year the number of RAA Insurance claims for rear end collisions increased by 15 per cent in winter when compared with the summer months.
SA Police data also shows in the first three months of 2023, 745 motorists were caught failing to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front – a 12 per cent increase when compared with monthly offences in 2022.
The current penalty for tailgating is a fine of $466 and one demerit point.
RAA Insurance spokesperson Shaun Ryan said drivers should be extra vigilant on the roads this week.
“With a downpour predicted in South Australia over the next few days, we’re warning drivers of the increased risk of rear-end crashes at this time of year,” Mr Ryan said.
“It’s always important to leave a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front, and even more so when roads are wet or there is reduced visibility.
“Stopping distances increase by around 30 per cent when the road is wet, and even longer if your tyres are worn.”
Mr Ryan also said that, from an insurance point of view, drivers who rear-end another vehicle would be considered at fault.
“Tailgating is dangerous behaviour that contributes to rear-end collisions being the most common type of crashes on our roads.
“There is no excuse for not having enough time to come to a safe stop if the vehicle in front brakes suddenly, so make sure you’re leaving at least a three-second gap between their vehicle and yours.
“Inclement weather can also mean reduced visibility, making it harder to see pedestrians or cyclists, which is another reason to drive at a safe speed that allows us to come to a stop if required.”