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School pick up zones are back under the microscope, with new research confirming mid-afternoons are the most dangerous time for vehicles on Australian roads.

The data from AAMI insurance revealed that from more than 340,000 insurance claims made in the last financial year, accident rates increased sharply between 1:30-4pm.

It was revealed that accidents are most common on Friday, followed by Thursday and Wednesday – indicating a significant drop in concentration from drivers as the week drags on.

As school students return to the classroom this week it’s an important reminder for all drivers to be extra vigilant.

“It’s frightening that so many road accidents are happening when children, our most vulnerable and inexperienced road users, are crossing roads in large numbers and congregating near bus stops,” AAMI’s head of motor and property claims Paul Sofronoff said.

“Our research suggests that too many drivers are flouting road rules and are oblivious to the dangers of speeding and driving distracted around schools, putting young lives at risk.

“Ideally you want people avoiding school zones if they can and everyone making sure they avoid any distractions while driving.”

How to beat driver fatigue and improve concentration

Make a choice not to drive when tired or follow these guidelines to prevent fatigue:

  • get a good night’s sleep before heading off on a long trip
  • don’t travel for more than eight to ten hours a day
  • take regular breaks – at least every two hours
  • share the driving wherever possible
  • don’t drink alcohol before your trip. Even a small amount can significantly contribute to driver fatigue
  • don’t travel at times when you’d usually be sleeping
  • take a 15-minute power nap if you feel yourself becoming drowsy