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AAMI Crash Index identifies Australia’s worst roads: Melbourne tops the list


New data from national insurer AAMI has revealed four of Australia’s five worst car crash locations are in Melbourne.

Plenty Road at Bundoora in Melbourne’s north east has received the dubious honour of being named the country’s worst location for collisions, for the second year in a row, according to the 2019 AAMI Crash Index. While Springvale Road at both Glen Waverley and Springvale in Melbourne’s east took out second and third place on the index.

AAMI Head of Motor Claims Anna Cartwright said Plenty Road and Springvale Roads had once again been called out as being some of the country’s worst roads for crashes.

“Plenty Road in Bundoora has several lanes of traffic in both directions and feeds into many other major roads in Melbourne. The busy stretch of road is home to multiple traffic lights, entry and exit points, two main universities and a tram line in the middle, again making it the nation’s worst contender for car crashes in the last financial year,” Ms Cartwright said.

While it is positive the number of collisions on Plenty Road decreased from last year, with works currently underway to improve the busy stretch of road, commuters must drive carefully during construction.

“Springvale Road is no stranger to the spotlight, the location at Glen Waverley has been one of the worst spots for collisions, since first topping our list seven years ago. With the southern stretch of Springvale Road at Springvale now coming in at number three on our list, what hope do local drivers have?” Ms Cartwright said.

“These two locations tally an average of eight vehicle collision claims every week, that’s at least one each day. Springvale Road has anywhere up to nine lanes of heavy traffic, with multiple intersections feeding in both main roads and suburban streets.”

This year’s crash index saw Melbourne roads make up nine of the top ten of Australia’s worst locations for crashes. Not to be outdone, Sydney also featured in the national list, with the Hume Highway at Liverpool in Sydney’s south west again towards the top of the list, coming in at number four on AAMI’s Crash Index.

The top crash location in each capital city has remained the same as last year, with the exception of Adelaide. Each city had new entrants in its top 10. Sydney’s list revealed five new crash hot spot locations including the M5 Motorway at Liverpool, Adelaide also had five new locations, while Canberra had six.

AAMI is tackling road safety head-on by revealing where accidents most commonly occur across Australia, to highlight to motorists the importance of driving safely and being extra vigilant, particularly at these locations.

Analysis of more than 340,000 motor accident insurance claims across the country from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 revealed the top accident location in each capital city to be:





Plenty Road



Hume Highway



Gympie Road



Albany Highway



Monaro Highway



North Terrace



Sandy Bay Road

Sandy Bay 

“These hot spots are generally busy major arterial roads, that intersect with local streets. When you combine this with heavy traffic and frequent stopping, it is a perfect recipe for vehicle collisions,” Ms Cartwright said.

AAMI Behavioural Economist Phil Slade said car accidents more commonly occur when a driver is less than 10 kilometres from home.

“We are more likely to have accidents when we’re less than 10 kilometres from home or on a familiar route because we tend to slip into autopilot,” said Mr Slade.

“When we’re driving somewhere we haven’t been before, somewhere novel, we’re more careful and concentrate more. On the flip side, when drivers are close to home, or on a familiar route, they can get too comfortable, and find themselves daydreaming or getting distracted.

“Driver distractions such as mobile phones and digital devices are big issues, because they take away from your ability to react. It’s best to always expect the unexpected, leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front and be patient especially if traffic is congested.”

Slade says frustration, impatience and road rage all contribute to vehicle collisions.

“If you’re running late, or if something or someone gets in your way or blocks your journey, even if it has no material impact on how quickly you’ll actually arrive at your destination, it’s your reactive self that tends to take control of your car, which makes it more difficult to control your emotions and make good decisions.

“Drivers must be patient and present while driving if they want to avoid making an appearance as a statistic on next year’s AAMI Crash Index.”