Little bumps prove costly
GYMPIE drivers may hold the key to reducing the little bingles that are costing our economy millions of dollars a year.
An APN Newsdesk analysis of Queensland Government data reveals there were 434 front to tail crashes on the region's roads between 2001 and 2013.
Almost 60% - or 250 - of these happened while vehicles were travelling below 80kmh. Researchers estimate rear-enders cost our economy big time - $114,500 each for those in the 80kmh or less range and $177,000 for crashes above 80kmh.
The financial impact covers a range of factors including medical and rehabilitation, lost productivity and damage to road infrastructure.
Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety Queensland researcher Dr Judy Fleiter is trying to find out how we can reduce rear-enders and she needs Gympie drivers to take part in a quick online survey.
Dr Fleiter's work will inform statewide driver education strategies.
The Queensland University of Technology academic said statistics showed most drivers followed other vehicles too closely.
"The key to reducing nose-to-tail crashes is to help people understand the importance of keeping a safe distance from other traffic on the road and work out the best way to help people decide what that distance is," she said.
"What this study aims to do is to find out how drivers decide how close to follow another vehicle and whether their ideas of a safe following distance change according to different driving conditions.
"For example, are drivers tailgating because they're disobeying the rules or because they don't know the rules?
"We know that when people are travelling too close to the vehicle in front, they are putting themselves and others in danger. Now we'd like to work out better ways of reducing this danger."
To join the study on tailgating, visit carrsq.qut.edu.au/rec
Gympie rear-enders by speed zone 2001-2013
Km/h zone, crashes
# Researchers say each rear-ender costs the economy $114,500 to $177,000 depending on the speed at the time of the crash.
SOURCE: Queensland Government; Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety - Queensland