More than 15 per cent of motor accidents in Armidale involve collisions with animals, according to the latest AAMI Crash Index.
Over a 12-month period, 36 accidents in the Armidale district were as a result of animal collisions. Animals account for only 0.54 per cent of Sydney claims, and the New England average is 36.66 per cent.
At 40.35 per cent the most prevalent cause of accidents in Armidale was hitting stationery objects such as trees or road barriers.
Bringing up the rear of reasons was nose-to-tail (9.65 per cent), collision while reversing (13.60 per cent) and failed to give way, 17.54 per cent.
The statistics reflect the very different driving conditions faced by country and city motorists, with the ranking of accident reasons pretty much reversed.
Nose-to-tail accounted for most of Sydney’s motor accidents at 37.3 per cent, followed by failed to give-way at 29.10 per cent.
The data comes from accident insurance claims across the country from August 2015 to August 2016, with 288 motor accidents attributed to the 2350 postcode in that period.
While the statistics for New England as a whole were slightly more ‘citified’ than those for Armidale alone, AAMI spokesperson Jake Krausmann had some advice for drivers forced to dodge kangaroos, pigs, deer and other animals on a daily basis.
“Unfortunately these types of accidents continue to be common occurrences on our roads, despite many of them being avoidable,” Mr Krausmann said.
“New England drivers should keep a lookout for wildlife on the road, particularly when they drive near national parks and forests.
“Wildlife is unpredictable and can appear out of nowhere, so it’s important to slow down and be aware of your environment, particularly inside sign-posted wildlife areas.
“Drivers should also focus their attention to being aware of their surroundings given one in four collided with a stationary object, such as parked cars, trees and road barriers.”
From a national perspective, nearly four out of five (79.2 per cent) accident insurance claims occurred within 25 kilometres of the driver’s house.
“Regardless of how familiar a driver is with their local roads, it doesn’t dilute the importance of safe driving behaviours,” Mr Krausmann said.
As part of the AAMI Crash Index, AAMI surveyed 4,090 drivers from across the country and discovered while only one in five motorists consider themselves to be an impatient driver, nearly 60 per cent admitted to exceeding the speed limit some of the time.
“With nearly one in three attributing their speed to taking their eye off the speed limit, it reinforces that concentration is key for all drivers,” Mr Krausmann said.