THE number of rear end – “bum crashes” on local roads has reached record levels, according to Singleton’s smash repair operators.
Long-time repairer Ken Adamthwaite, of Adamthwaite’s Crash Repairs, estimates the number of road accidents his family company is attending has trebled over the past two years.
“We put this down to increased traffic volume, driver fatigue and lack of attention by drivers, and of course the problems with P platers watching their gadgets, not the road,” he said.
“There is no doubt we are seeing more and more accidents involving people travelling to and from mine sites, many of whom are travelling after a 12 hour shift.
“I couldn’t tell you the number of times we have towed vehicles owned by mine industry workers from the Central Coast who travel those long distances on a daily basis.”
Mr Adamthwaite would love to see governments at all levels, along with the mining industry, working together to try to overcome the traffic problem.
“Whether it’s the introduction of buses or the building of hostels for the workers to use – we need to do something.
“It’s a matter of life and death and we see the results of a driving mistake.”
Many accidents don’t require towing or police attendance and, given the number of vehicles coming through Singleton from other areas, the industry figures of motor accidents could well be way below the actual numbers occurring.
And the cost of these accidents even a minor bump can prove costly with a small drive away collision costing $1000-$2000 but for something a bit bigger the owner could be looking at $5000.
Late model cars can be very costly with two recent examples in town ranging from $18,000 to $25,000 and the cars are off the road for six to eight weeks.
Smiths Smash Repairs have also encountered a big jump in quotes for rear end repairs.
Tony Smith said his company had seen at least a 30 per cent increase in this type of work.
“We believe the jump in repairs is due to increased traffic through town,” he said.
Mr Adamthwaite said the vast majority of the accidents occurred along the New England Highway but he also said he had seen an increase in accidents on arterial roads such as Elderslie and Hermitage Roads.