Car parks continue to hold title for most car-hostile places[Anti Otsla | 07.04.2022 :]
According to Seesam’s traffic damage statistics, the vast majority of traffic and casco damage is parking-related, followed by collisions from the rear and collisions at intersections. Volkswagens, followed by Toyotas and then Mercedes-Benzes, are most frequently involved in road accidents.
Even though there has been a lot of talk over the years about the car-hostile conditions prevalent in car parks and parking houses, and some responsible shopping centres have made their parking facilities more spacious and safer, the number of accidents has remained the same and car owners still have to suffer the frustration of manoeuvring in tight spaces.
“Car parks and parking houses inevitably see higher volumes of traffic and there is less space. Under these types of conditions, people become short-tempered, they forget about traffic and safety rules and tight conditions really put people’s parking skills to the test,” says Anti Otsla, Seesam’s Head of Car Damage, explaining the high volume of car park damages.
According to the insurer, car park accidents are caused by vehicles reversing at the same time as well as doors being opened without making sure it is safe to do so. In addition, shopping trolleys also cause nicks and minor dents in car parks.
Based on Seesam’s statistics, the most typical casco damage case is related to parking. “It's fairly common to see a situation where damage has been caused to a parked car, but there is no information on who or even what caused the damage,” says Otsla about a typical casco damage case.
Half as many accidents with wild animals
Although the vast majority of traffic and casco damages occur in car parks, it is the collisions that are the most expensive for insurance to pay out. Collisions at intersections can prove especially dangerous.
“We have an example from last year where a car hit a tram at an intersection and the tram is still being repaired. The estimated cost of restoring the tram amounts to ca 200,000 euros. The Kristiine intersection provides us with another example where two cars collided and one of them hit the traffic enforcement camera. Restoring the latter cost almost 100,000 euros. Our costliest case of casco damage also involved a collision at an intersection and the amount of damage was 120,000 euros,” says the insurer about the largest damages paid for last year.
As a comparison to these large amounts, the average traffic damage in Seesam last year amounted to €1621, while the average casco damage, including glass damage, was €1280.
In addition to the high number of accidents in car parks and collisions with major damages, last year will also be remembered for the significant increase in accidents involving wild animals. According to Otsla, 400 such cases were registered in Seesam in 2020; in 2021, that number jumped to 604. “We know that in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, people tended to stay at home more and there was a period of reduced vehicle use in traffic. This is likely the reason behind this steep rise in cases in just one year. At the same time, the destruction of wildlife habitats due to cutting forests and the expansion of human settlements is increasingly confusing animals and driving them onto the roads,” explains the insurer.
Whether hitting another car or an animal, most accidents are preventable. To do this, it is important to follow the requirements set out in the Road Traffic Act, maintain distance, always make sure that it is safe to manoeuvre at intersections, make sure that the road is clear when entering an intersection and consider the road and traffic conditions when choosing your speed.