WA excels at carpark prangs
Ding bait: WA drivers excel at carpark prangs. Picture: Simon Santi/The West Australian

We know West Australian drivers can't merge or use roundabouts, and now it seems they can't park.

And it appears shoppers at Morley, Joondalup and Midland are the worst.

An analysis by car insurer AAMI found that one in four accidents in WA last year were dings to parked cars.

This compares with the national average of one in five.

AAMI spokesman Reuben Aitchison said most of these accidents were at shopping centres where motorists often had to cope with tight turning circles.

"We know shopping centre developers try and squeeze in as many parking bays as possible so there's probably not as much room as there used to be," he said.

"But the growing number of carpark dings is also a reflection of motorists being less careful.

"A lot of claims relate to dings while the motorist is in the shops. They come back to their car and discover it has been hit. And it is no coincidence the most parked-car dings were in suburbs with significant shopping centres - Morley, Joondalup and Midland."

Nose-to-tail accidents were still the most frequent type of crash at 27 per cent in WA, but the number was declining. Mr Aitchison said the number of accidents caused by motorists failing to give way was also down on 2012.

"This indicates drivers are becoming more patient, however improvement is still needed," he said.

"Impatience is often overlooked as a leading factor behind accidents on our roads and it can adversely affect our judgment when we need it most.

"Fender benders and prangs from failing to give way are often a result of inattention and driver impatience, with the latter frequently leading to tailgating too closely behind other cars.

"By their own admission, almost three-quarters of drivers who've had a prang say it was avoidable, so if we want to see a reduction in accidents on our roads, drivers becoming more patient would be a great start."

Mr Atchison said more congestion in cities made it important to keep a safe distance from the car in front and also resist the urge to weave in and out of lanes.

The West Australian

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