Mike Stevens | Dec 14, 2009

NEW INSURANCE CLAIMS data released by insurer RACV shows that the Christmas shopping rush has made December the worst month for car park crashes.

Nearly one in ten (9.6 percent) of the 15,000 car parking claims lodged with RACV in the past financial year were in December. March follows with 9 percent, and the lowest number of car park incidents were in August (7.6 percent).

“Shopping centres are attracting more and more time-poor people who are becoming increasingly frustrated by the volume of traffic, especially at peak sales times such as Christmas,” RACV Insurance General Manager, Paul Northey said.

“If driving, make sure you allow additional time to find a park, and pay extra attention to cars and pedestrians who may distract or surprise you as you are driving, resulting in an accident.”

Hitting other vehicles figured among the top claim reasons, along with trolleys, railings, walls and poles. Around 43 percent of crashes occurred while reversing, and 15 percent where no other vehicle was involved.

"Disobeying traffic signals and signs, including driving the wrong way up a one way aisle and illegal parking are two common ways of creating unnecessary driving hazards," Mr Northey said.

In NSW, NRMA Insurance claims data from last December showed an 18 percent jump in parking crashes over the annual average for the state.

The data revealed that nearly a third of motorists involved in car park crashes leave the scene without reporting the incident or leaving their details.

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