While drag racing seems to be a fun hobby for adrenaline junkies, this activity is against the law. It is one of the leading causes of collisions and fatal accidents. And just recently, reports showed that drag racing is making Melbourne’s worst crash hot spots more dangerous.
According to a study conducted by the Australian Associated Motor Insurers or AAMI, young hoons drag racing across Melbourne are making the city’s roads more dangerous. The AAMI Crash Index, which is based on an analysis of 240,000 insurance claims made in 2014, showed that there has been an increase in collisions in Melbourne roads due to these reckless drivers.
Springvale Rd in Glen Waverley is considered the most dangerous crash hot spot for three straight years. Plenty Rd in Bundoora and Springvale Rd in Springvale followed in second and third places, respectively. Bell St in Preston has also remained in the top five. And after being absent in the list for two years, Prince Highway in Dandenong reclaimed its place in the top five.
According to the AAMI Crash Index, crashes at the Glen Waverly location rose from 241 in 2013 to 323 last year. Meanwhile, to help reduce the number of collisions in these crash hot spots, 75% of 3,700 motorists surveyed by the AAMI suggest imposing tougher penalties for reckless and unsafe driving.
Reuben Aitchison, spokesman for AAMI, said all the crash hot spots were on multi-lane roads, with high speed limits and several traffic lights that lead to congestion. Many of the crashes that occurred in these hot spots involved drivers under 25 years old.
“They are quite long stretches of road and at night there isn’t as much traffic. Combined with high speed limits, it makes them prone to reckless driving, including drag racing,” Mr Aitchison said.
Drag racers are not the only ones to blame for these road accidents. People who use their mobile phones while driving are also contributing to more crashes, the index revealed. Crashes attributed to driver distraction jumped from 7% to 11% during the same period.
On a more positive note, there are an increasing number of drivers who are taking more responsibility for their bad driving. According to the AAMI Crash Index, the number of drivers blaming other motorists dropped from 46% to 40% in the past year. Meanwhile, the top five reasons cited by motorists for road accidents are other drivers, distraction/loss of concentration, carelessness, traffic congestion, and bad weather.