Traffic Insurance Fund: Record number of accidents this summer

Accidents. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

A record number of traffic accidents occurred this summer - from June to August, there were 8,000 traffic insurance cases in Estonia with a total loss of €15 million, data from the Estonian Traffic Insurance Fund (LKF) shows.

Of this summer's accidents, 41 percent were related to parking, 16 percent were rear-end collisions and 13 percent were collisions at intersections, LKF reported.

Ülli Reimets, head of the LKF damage prevention department, said this summer, compared to previous years, there were more collisions when maneuvering in parking lots, damage to roadside facilities and collisions with cyclists.

"There are so many parking accidents because in many car parks the parking spaces are too narrow and do not meet the minimum standard requirements. If the average width of a car is 1.8 meters and the width of a parking space is 2.5 meters, there is only 35 centimeters of space," Reimets said.

The city street standard valid from 2016 recommends a shopping center parking space of at least 2.7 meters wide.

In June this year, LKF surveyed 15 car parks in Tallinn, where the number of parking accidents has recently increased.

In 11 of these car parks, the width of the parking space did not meet the minimum requirements: Bauhaus Rocca Al Mare (2.5 m), Haabersti Rimi (2.5 m), Järve Keskus (2.47-2.5 m), Kakumäe Selver (2.5 m) , K-Rauta Haabersti (2.5 m), K-Rauta Tondi (2.39-2.53 m), Lasnamäe Centrum (2.5 m), Tondi Selver (2.45-2.5 m), Mustakivi Center ( 2.44-2.48 m), T1 (2.45-2.5 m) and Ümera Maxima (2.5 m).

Maarika Mürk, head of Gjensidige's claims handling department, noted parking accidents have increased in Estonia both in outdoor car parks and in parking garages, regardless of the size of the car park.

"Accidents occur not only in the parking lots of commercial institutions, but also in the parking lots of gas stations, polyclinics, cultural institutions, sports centers and schools. More and more accidents also occur in the parking lots of apartment buildings," Mürk said.

Anti Otsla, the head of Seesam's motor insurance division, said the number of collisions to various road structures, fences, traffic signs and street lighting posts has also increased.

"There are also striking situations where, after refueling, the refueling pistol is left in the tank and driven away. The biggest damage to a road facility this year is a car accident where one vehicle crashed into a speed camera. The cost of restoring the camera, which is to be reimbursed by Seesam, amounts to almost €100,000," Otsla said.

LKF is the keeper of the motor third party liability insurance register, the motor insurance guarantee fund, the Estonian Green Card Bureau and the compulsory insurer of vehicles without a motor third party liability insurance contract.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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