The FINANCIAL -- Around 40% of vehicle accidents incurring physical loss or damage occur during parking or maneuvering. The vast majority of incidents happen when reversing (amounting to more than 70% of auto liability claims and around 85% of full physical damage claims).
In eight out of ten cases, the accident happens when maneuvering out of a parking space (84%); incidents rarely occur when driving into a parking space (16%). Older drivers, aged 65 and above, cause a third more accidents during parking or maneuvering than those aged between 25 and 64. These are the findings of a joint research project carried out by the Allianz Center for Technology (AZT) and Continental AG. This extensive project, analyzing almost 3,500 traffic accidents, was supported by Munich's Hochschule and Technische Universität, according to Allianz.
Most accidents during parking and maneuvering occur when reversing
Almost half of all liability claims (41.7%) resulted from a vehicle hitting another stationary vehicle when reverse parking, and one out of every five driving maneuvers (20.1%) involved two cars bumping into each other as they were both reverse parking. "The frequency of accidents occurring during parking and maneuvering has increased by more than 30% over the past ten years. These accidents make up 44% of auto liability incidents with physical loss or damage, and 39% of full physical damage collisions," says Rüdiger Hackhausen, Head of Claims at Allianz Versicherungs-AG, emphasizing the importance of the topic. The average liability claim for these accidents totals approximately €1,700, and the average full physical damage insurance claim €2,100.
Accidents during parking and maneuvering can cause serious injury!
The proportion of parking and maneuvering accidents which cause auto liability bodily injury claims is, at 4%, considerably less than that for auto liability physical loss or damage claims. However, accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists can still lead to serious injuries. Particularly notable is the study's finding that these accidents were exclusively caused by reversing. Older pedestrians aged 65 and above were particularly heavily affected (two thirds).
Changes in vehicle shape is the main cause of accidents
The main cause behind the increase in accidents during parking and maneuvering is attributed to changed vehicle shapes and the continual growth of urbanization. Over the past decades, cars have tended to become wider and longer, whilst the size of parking spaces has stayed the same. Analysis showed that vans and SUVs are most frequently involved in accidents during parking and maneuvering. They are responsible for around 30% more of these accidents than small or compact vehicles. In addition, drivers' visibility has been considerably reduced, particularly through the rear and side windows, as a result of changed structure and designs.
Parking assistance systems can help avoid accidents in the future
The study showed that many parking warning systems currently installed in vehicles are only of limited use when it comes to avoiding accidents during parking and maneuvering. These systems do not cover the sides of the vehicle, thus missing many hazards. Many drivers rely too heavily on their parking assistance system, and often fail to act quickly enough. "The first intelligent driver assistance systems like automated parking assistants and autonomous emergency brake systems for maneuvering will help to significantly reduce this risk in the future," said Wolfgang Fey, Head of the Surround View segment in the Driver Assistance Systems area of Continental.