Looking at the kinds of claims received by Enthusiast Insurance, it seems that reversing is pretty much the most hazardous thing you can do in a motor vehicle.
Roundabouts have their perils it is true and a lot of claims stem from people driving too close to the vehicle in front but reversing offers its own unique set of hazards.
When you hit the button on the garage door remote, do you check that the door has made it all the way to the top before engaging reverse? Some people in our experience don’t and either experience a metallic crunch and sudden stop or do make it part way out the door before the vehicle roof connects with a door that hasn’t opened all the way.
Letterboxes placed too near the driveway edge are another peril. You reverse, looking in the mirror or over the more convenient left shoulder and forget about what might be lurking low down in your blind spot to the right. A nasty scrape down several panels can be the result.
Make it to the street and down to your local supermarket or hardware store and the probabilities of accidental meetings magnify.
If you do the smart thing and back into a spot (while the drivers you delay sit and fume), you need to beware that the car behind might have poked its nose into your allocated space. There are also the ever-present shopping trolleys which sit sight unseen until you hit one.
Driving into a spot and then needing to back out is one of the most confronting tasks for any driver, even the highly experienced. You can be halfway out of a spot and still get clobbered by an oncoming vehicle because its driver is peering out their side window hoping that a space will magically materialise.
Then there is the car behind but unseen to the right or left that will leave its parking bay at the same time as you do and back straight across your direction of travel. Even with enough eyes to equip a housefly, you will struggle to see them coming before a collision occurs.
Hitting unseen objects is another constant cause of frustration for drivers and a trip to Enthusiast’s Five Star Claims service.
Objects left hidden in longish grass, overgrown trenches, rocks and logs can all cause damage. So can household water meters below the level of your door mirrors that can spike a tyre but also generate a hefty bill from the emergency plumber.
If you need to reverse in unfamiliar territory, get out yourself or have a reliable passenger check the area behind the vehicle for obstacles and those hard to see holes in the ground. A reversing camera can be helpful but not as reliable as a good set of human eyes.
Finally let us look at the perils of the boat ramp. Anyone with internet access might have shared the despair of drivers who have ‘launched’ their tow vehicle along with the vessel.
Then there are the totally hopeless reversers who send boat and car splashing off the side of a slippery ramp, or the one who vacates the seat without the handbrake being secured and watches their entire rig rolling backwards to a watery end.
If you do back into something with your Enthusiast insured vehicle, don’t stress. Our simple online claims system gets the process moving 24 hours a day and Choice of Repairer means you usually will need just one quote.
To compare Enthusiast’s rates and coverage for your vehicle, or one you are considering, log into www.enthusiast.com.au and select Quick Quote.