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Take a look at NSW claims statistics

Article PhotoCTP insurance is a necessary part of car ownership.

Though we hope you’ll never have to make one yourself, plenty of Australians end up claiming on ctp insurance every year.

The New South Wales Government Motor Accidents Authority Annual Report 2012-2013 period takes an in depth look at who is claiming on ctp insurance and why, according factors such as age, gender, and type of vehicle.

This provides great insight into who’s making (and causing!) claims most often, as well as what these claims actually end up costing.

According to the data collected in 2013, the age group causing the highest proportion of injury crashes are aged between 26 and 49 years old, with 45.3 per cent of recorded injury crashes attributed to them. However, this age group also makes up the largest number of NSW licence holders, with 44.7 per cent of total licence holders coming from this group.

This age group also made up the highest total claims cost, sitting at 45.1 per cent.

Closely following this age bracket were the 17 to 25 and 50 to 69 age brackets, accounting for 25.6 and 19.9 per cent of injury crashes caused, respectively. Other age groups were significantly lower, with those aged over 70 responsible for 5.1 per cent and those under 16 responsible for 0.3 per cent.

Overall, the 17 to 25 age bracket made up 25.3 per cent of total claims cost and 50 to 69 accounted for 22.6 per cent of NSW claims cost.

In terms of likelihood to cause a crash based on gender, males appear to be the most frequent. Of injury crashes recorded in the 2012 to 2013 period, 59.4 per cent were caused by males, 29.1 per cent caused by females and 11.9 per cent were unknown.

Drivers are the most likely road user to make a claim, making up 49.5 per cent of total claims. This was followed by passengers, and pedestrians. Pillion passengers are the least likely road user to make a claim, however, they account for the second highest average cost per claim at $216,900.

This is topped only by riders, who cost an average of $227,200 per claim.

Three checks you should do every season

Article PhotoPrevention is the best measure when it comes to road safety. This is why it’s essential to check your car every season to ensure it’s in effective working condition – don’t wait until you take it to the mechanic!

Here are three checks you should do every season:

Check oil levels

Your vehicle’s oil level is essential to the efficient running of your engine. According to the National Roads and Motorist’s Association (NRMA), if you regularly use your car for trips shorter than 20 km, contaminants such as water vapour and gases can end up in the oil and cause it to lose its protective qualities.

Cars traveling more than 20 km per drive may be able to break down these contaminants due to heat. However, it’s still worth checking (and changing, if necessary) your oil. Automotive lubricant company Castrol Australia suggests changing your oil every six months or every 5,000 km. Check your car’s manual or handbook for guidelines and any specifications you need to know about.

Check your tyres

Tyre checks should be done on a regular basis, but it’s a great idea to do a thorough, overall check at the start of each season. Look for overall tyre quality with no uneven wear, check your tyre pressure, and consider booking in for a wheel alignment and wheel balance. It’s also a good idea to get your tyres rotated at the start of each season. Bridgestone Tyres recommends a rotation every 5,000 to 8,000 km of driving.

Renew your registration

Letting your registration run out can mean your vehicle also has no ctp insurance – not to mention it’s illegal! Take note of your vehicle’s registration expiry date and renew your registration before it expires.

To do this, you’ll first need a ctp green slip. Compare green slip prices and pick the best deal for you, get a vehicle safety check and then renew over the phone, by post or in person at a motor registry.

How many motorbikes were bought in Australia in 2013?

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In 2013, 113,289 new motorbikes would have needed to do a CTP green slip comparison for their bike, as this was the total number of new motorcycles bought in Australia last year.

According to data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), this total is a slight decrease from motorbike sales in 2012, with 115,837 motorbikes purchased in 2012 – a decline of 2.2 per cent.

However, it seems that road bikes and scooters are still a popular mode of transport for Australians. Meanwhile, a significant number of off-road vehicles were purchased for leisure or sport purposes.

Road bikes remain the most popular mode of transport, totalling 39 per cent of sales in 2013. Closely following road bikes was the purchase of off-road motorcycles, which represented 34 per cent of total sales.

Of the remaining sales, 19 per cent was attributed to ATVs and 8 per cent to scooters.

FCAI Chief Executive, Tony Weber, said that Honda was the most popular brand of bike sold in 2013, with this manufacturer accounting for 22 per cent of the market.

In total, 25,432 motorbikes, ATVs and scooters sold in 2013 were made by Honda. The brand’s closest rival was Yamaha, which accounted for 18 per cent of total sales and 20,087 sales. Third most popular brand was Kawasaki, with 10 per cent of sales.

However, Yamaha was the most popular make for buyers of off-road motorcycles, accounting for 29 per cent of these sales. Honda accounted for 26 per cent.

If you’re considering buying a motorcycle to get around on or just to have some fun on the weekend, make sure you do a green slip comparison, it is one way you can save some money!

What is ABS and why should your car have it?

Article PhotoWhen searching for a new car, safety is often at the top of the list for Australians. Driving can be dangerous, so making sure your car is packed full of safety features is one of the best lines of defence in case of an accident.

One of the car safety features available in newer models is anti-brake locking systems (ABS). You may have heard the term thrown around by car dealers or seen it advertising new cars – but what actually is this safety feature, and is it important?

Put simply, anti-lock braking systems help to keep the driver in control of the car when applying the brakes suddenly.

Occasionally, hard braking can cause the car to spin, skid or lose traction on the road, leaving the driver with little control and potentially causing an extremely dangerous situation.

To counteract this possibility, ABS allow the driver to slow down quickly without skidding, while still allowing steering capabilities.

So how does ABS actually work?

ABS works by preventing the wheels of the car from ‘locking’ upon heavy braking.

Cars with ABS installed have wheel sensors which continually send information to the electronic control unit within the car, which allows it to detect “impending lockup of the wheels”, states the Royal Automotive Club of Queensland (RACQ).

If trouble strikes, the system will send signals to the hydraulic modulator and automatically apply and release the brakes. This can occur up to 15 times per second, and does not take into account how hard the driver is braking. This systematic braking approach prevents wheel lock up and allows the driver to continue steering the vehicle.

The system will continue to work until brake pressure is released, or the conditions causing the wheel locking are over.

Although the best way to prevent wheel locking is to avoid heavy braking, changing conditions on the road means this isn’t always possible. Thus, ABS is a great safety feature to look for when buying a new car.

Keep in mind that this system is no substitute for safe driving, and accidents can still happen – so make sure your rego, ctp insurance and other insurances are all up to date.

New app to help with speeding around school zones

Article PhotoThere are certain responsibilities that come with owning and driving a car on the Australian roads. From obtaining a ctp green slip and registering your vehicle to ensuring you stick to the speed limit, owning a car is something that can’t be taken lightly.

Unfortunately, some drivers flout these responsibilities without thought for the consequences. Plenty of Australians will have nudged over the speed limit in their driving years, but speeding is a known risk factor for crashes that could seriously injure those involved.

This risk is increased when speeding around areas where children congregate, such as schools and playgrounds. Children are often unaware of the danger that a speeding car poses and can find it difficult to judge distance – making them more likely to dart out when it’s too late.

To combat the risks surrounding speeding near schools, the New South Wales Government has released a Speed Adviser app for iPhones that warns users when they are entering a school zone.

According to Roads Minister Duncan Gay, the app will warn road users that they are entering a school zone, and includes information on every school in NSW.

“It is heartbreaking to hear of child fatalities or injuries around schools and we need motorists to understand that school zone speed limits are there to save lives,” Minister Gay said.

There is no need to interact with the mobile phone while driving to make the app work, and drivers can set it up before they leave for their destination.

In addition to alerting motorists of upcoming school zones, the app will remind them of changing speed limits and warn them if they creep over the limit while on the roads.

However, Minister Gay cautions that the app is no replacement for speed signs, vigilance or awareness of road conditions. Of course, the best way to avoid a speeding fine (or worse) as a consequence, is not to speed at all – but the app is a great way to remind forgetful drivers.

Currently, the Speed Adviser app is only available for iPhones but should be available in an Android version by early this year.

Australia’s Best Cars of 2013

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Looking for a new vehicle can be a difficult decision with the extensive amount of cars on the market, which is why determining which models sit apart from the rest can help you make the best choice. What were the best cars of 2013?

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has recently announced the winners of 2013’s Best Car Awards. Focusing on 15 categories, the awards assess cars according to safety criteria, affordability, and overall quality.

Chief executive of the AAA, Andrew McKellar, stated “the winning vehicles are the best of the best in their categories and perform consistently high in all assessment areas”.

This confirms that the awards look for functionality and safety features over appearance or luxury. In fact, cars must have a five star ANCAP rating or be eligible to gain one in order to be a winner in any category.

Among the winners are the Holden Commodore SV6, which won ‘Best Large Car under $60,000’, and the Volkswagon Golf GTI, which won ‘Best Sports Car under $50,000’.

Those looking for a nifty small vehicle to manoeuvre tight parking spaces could consider the cars that took out the ‘Best Small Car’ categories of ‘under $35,000’ and ‘over $35,000’. These were the Hyundai i30 Active and Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TSFI COD, respectively.

The rising popularity of 4×4 Dual Cab Utes contributed to its inclusion as a category in the Best Car Awards for 2013, and was won by the Ford Ranger XL 3.2.

The only category not included in the awards in 2013 was the ‘Best People Mover’, as no cars were able to fit all the requirements needed to crown a winner.

Perhaps the ultimate winner of the awards is the car that receives the prestigious ‘judge’s choice’ award. This year, it went to the Mazda6 Touring, which also won the ‘Best Medium Car under $50,000’.

AAA’s Best Car Awards are a perfect way to discover a couple of models that could suit your requirements. Plenty of these outstanding vehicles would make fabulous additions to the garage – just don’t forget to invest in ctp insurance if you do decide to buy one!

Results for Operation Drink Drive 1

The NSW Police Force has released the results for Operation Drink Drive 1 (Media Release, 23 February 2014).

The results for Operation Drink Drive 1, which we spoke about in an earlier blog, were as follows:

Road Toll 2
Road Injuries 1,118
Speeding Infringements 1,156
Breath Tests 249,536
Drink-driving charges 124
Traffic infringements 4,534

NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley said “There were two fatalities during the Operation Drink Drive 1 period, which is five down on last year.”  He also said that “While the statistics for Operation Drink Drive 1 have been encouraging, with 164 fewer drink-drive charges, our current NSW road toll remains higher than at this time last year”.

Operation Saturation is now underway.

Operation Saturation is a four week blitz on speeding drivers.  Operation saturation will feature high visibility static operations in known accident hot spots.

Operation Saturation continues until midnight on Sunday 23 March 2014.

Operation Drink Drive 1 and Operation Saturation

NSW police launched two major road safety campaigns this week, Operation Drink Drive and Operation Saturation.

Operation Drink Drive 1 commenced on Thursday and runs until midnight on Saturday, 22 February.  As the name implies, it is aimed at drink driving.

Operation Saturation is a blitz on speeding which commences immediately after Operation Drink Drive 1 and runs for one month.

So far, 2014 has been a bad year for road trauma. According to the NSW Police Force press release, in the first 48 days of 2014, 57 people lost their lives on NSW roads, a 50% increase over the same period last year during which 38 people lost their lives. According to the press release alcohol was a major factor in about one in seven crashes involving a fatality.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner – Specialist Operations, Catherine Burn makes it clear that whilst random breath testing has had a major impact on the number of road deaths, the task is ongoing.  She said “In the year before we introduced RBT in NSW, the road toll was almost 1,300, compared to last years record low of 339.  Nevertheless, many people just don’t seem to be getting the message about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol.  In 2013, we charged about 22,000 people with drink-driving offences”.

Police will conduct a high number of random breath tests this weekend.  We can also expect to see a high police profile during the blitz on speeding.

Troubles with the M5

Problems with the M5 again this morning.

Before 6.00am there was a car broken down in the left lane eastbound, just before King Georges road.  A good run was halted.  Traffic was backed-up…again.

Maybe this is just a wasted lament, but it seems that it does not take much to go wrong for the M5 to grind to a halt.

Accidents on the M5 are frequent.  An accident guarantees a dreadfully slow run, even if the cars involved in the accident are well away from the traffic lanes.  In fact, accidents even affect traffic traveling in the opposite direction.  It seems that a lot of drivers can not drive past an accident scene without slowing down to look at what has happened, resulting in the slow procession past the accident scene.

There has to be a better way of dealing with accidents on expressways.  If the vehicles involved in an accident can be driven, the vehicles should be driven off the expressway at the next exit so that the drivers can exchange details without causing chaos.  If vehicles need to be towed, they should be towed as soon as possible.

The issues with accidents and breakdowns on the M5 are repeated everyday on roads around Sydney.