Drivers admit to speeding says new report
Research from Compareinsurance.com.au reveals that 37.9% of drivers exceed safe speed limits.
21.9% of Aussies openly admitted to driving up to 10km over the speed limit whilst a further 16% say they have driven 20km to 30km over safe speed limits.
Additional data confirmed what has long been reported; men are more likely than women to speed. 11.7% of male drivers admitted to driving in excess of 30km over the limit, compared to 5.8% of their female counterparts.
With school holidays just around the corner, it’s more important than ever to practice safety measures whilst on the roads. As thousands of Aussies gear up for long-distance car trips the repercussion of speeding (or driving whilst texting, or under the influence of alcohol) should be at the forefront of the road safety discussion.
Although reports from the NSW government show a strong understanding from motorists that speeding increases crash risks; exceeding safety limits continues to be the greatest cause of deaths and injuries on our roads.
A significant increase in speeding during 2015 triggered nationwide concern as the Australian death toll rose by 4.9%. NSW in particular saw a 33% increase in road fatalities with 348 people killed in 2015 alone.
Speeding is said to affect about one third of Australian road fatalities* and lead to more than 4100 injuries each year.
Natalie Ball, Director, Compareinsurance.com.au says: “Rev heads; take caution. Not only does speeding continue to be the number one killer on our motorways; should you have an accident whilst speeding, your car insurance wouldn’t cover you. Irresponsible and reckless driving would be, in no uncertain terms, excluded from your policy.”
Additionally, speeders face hefty fines over double demerit weekends. Drivers caught speeding over long weekends in NSW can face driving suspensions and fines of up to $2,530.
Ball adds that drivers looking to stay safe over the busy holiday season should err on the side of caution.
“Unfortunately, safety can be a secondary concern during peak seasons like school break where many travellers place a high precedent on getting to their destination as quickly as possible. A few basic safety tips can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring the safety of your friends and family.”
Car insurance doesn't cover speeding
Speeding and recklessness
Dangerous repercussions aside; potential Mark Webbers or Jenson Buttons should consider their need for speed from a practical point of view. It may sound obvious but plenty of drivers are unaware that their car insurance is invalid when intentionally racing and driving fast and furious.
If your car is not roadworthy and is driven in an unsafe condition before an accident occurred your claim would be invalidated. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your car is free of any hazardous defects whilst on the road.
Breaking the law
Car insurance will not cover you if you have an accident when carrying more passengers than you’re legally allowed to. It also doesn’t cover the costs for your car if it is towed away after being parked illegally, or for accidents caused while speeding or using your phone.
Under the influence
You wouldn’t be covered if you or another person driving the vehicle at the time of an accident was under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs
Wrongful car use
As the ride sharing phenomenon continues to boom this one’s worth noting: If your car is used for purposes which you have not declared to your insurer, such as carrying passengers or other people’s goods for payment, you may not be covered. Additional improper vehicle use such as carrying explosives or using the wrong fuel type may also call your cover into question.
Road safety tips
Simply put; car accidents take a heavy toll. Even a minor ping can cost you a bundle and be an utter inconvenience. Of course, on the other end of the scale, a major accident can be ruinous and completely life-altering. Take the following precautions to minimize your risk of having an accident:
Slow down: It’s a no-brainer but the faster your drive, the longer it takes to slow down. A small decrease in your speed can greatly diminish your risk of crashing. Maintain a two-second gap from the car ahead and double this to four seconds when it’s raining, foggy or during other hazardous conditions.
Stay alert: Fatigue is one of the biggest dangers on our roads and one that particularly affects long-distance commuters. Driver fatigue has been likened to drink driving and fatigue-related crashes are twice as likely to be fatal. Remember; sleep is the only cure for tiredness.
Check your car: As important as it is to keep your driving in check, your car could be a potential liability too. A car with recognised safety ratings and features is essential.
Expect the unexpected: Everyone makes mistakes on the road; we’re only human! Being alert and aware can help you to anticipate your fellow drivers’ mistakes.
Courtesy first: As trying as it may be; road rage can be dangerous and stress provoking. Do your bit to maintain courtesy and respect the rights to safety for everyone on our roads. However, if you do encounter an aggressive driver avoid conflict and move out of the way when safe to do so.
The far-reaching consequences of speed related accidents can be enormous. Not only are they devastating; speed accidents cost the Australian economy around $27 billion dollars each year.
If you’re preparing for a road trip these school holidays - remember to enjoy your journey and take your time getting to your destination. Speeding may get you there faster but the risks can be fatal.
This article does not detail a complete list of car insurance exclusions. Drivers should always read their Product Disclosure Statement to understand when they are covered and when they are not.