The “whimsical” trend is causing a stir

In a hectic everyday life, it is easy to dent the car in a car park, a narrow street or in rush hour traffic.

This year, more than 670,000 car damages to cars and vans have been registered, figures from Finance Norway show.

This corresponds to an increase of four percent in the number of reported injuries, compared to the same period last year.

Compensation for motor vehicles, on the other hand, has increased significantly more, and is NOK 13.4 billion so far this year. This corresponds to almost ten percent.

– That is a big increase. You have to remember that there are almost one million car damages a year, says Torbjørn Brandeggen in Tryg to TV 2.

These have a higher risk

According to Finans Norge, hull damage, rescues and collisions have increased a lot from last year, while rescue expenses have decreased somewhat.

One of the explanations for the increase at Tryg is more car use and traffic jams after the pandemic.

– But, it can also be explained by several new electric cars with large displays that take attention away from driving, says Brandeggen.

Although two out of ten cars in total are electric cars, Brandeggen says that they see a trend where electric and hybrid cars have a significantly higher risk of damage.

– Together, these have a damage frequency that is around 25 per cent higher than pure fossil-fueled cars.

ATTENTION: Torbjørn Brandeggen in Tryg says several new electric cars have large screens that can take attention away from driving.  Photo: Shutterstock / Tryg Forsikring

ATTENTION: Torbjørn Brandeggen in Tryg says several new electric cars have large screens that can take attention away from driving. Photo: Shutterstock / Tryg Forsikring

Secretary General Christina Bu of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association recognizes Tryg’s claim.

She says this constantly comes from various insurance companies, but rarely with verifiable figures.

– We are concerned with traffic safety and therefore welcome any discussion about this.

Critical to the numbers

However, the Electric Vehicle Association cannot find documentation that it is the electric powertrain that is the independent cause of damage.

– It will therefore be difficult to discuss this, unless the insurance company will present a verifiable numerical basis for the claim, says Bu.

DISAGREE: Christina Bu, general secretary of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, recognizes Tryg's claims.  She does not agree that only electric cars have advanced screens.  Photo: Gorm Røseth / TV 2

DISAGREE: Christina Bu, general secretary of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, recognizes Tryg’s claims. She does not agree that only electric cars have advanced screens. Photo: Gorm Røseth / TV 2

She asks a number of questions about the insurance company’s figures.

– Have they, for example, corrected for the fact that the share of electric cars is much higher in central areas? That electric cars are to a greater extent new cars that are driven more than old cars? Do they consider comparable car brands?

Nor is it the case that only electric cars have received larger screens and advanced driving support systems, says Bu.

– This is something that all new cars have, but in Norway new cars are largely electric cars.

Insurance company warns: You must not fall into the “cabin trap”

“Whimsical” trend

The number of electric cars in Norway has passed 550,000, and so far this year eight out of ten new cars sold are electric cars.

A characteristic of all newer electric cars is far more sophisticated automation than before.

– We are very much in favor of better safety in the cars, but it can appear that the safer the car is, the greater the chances some drivers take, says Brandeggen.

At the same time as the number of car injuries is increasing, what can be described as a “whimsical” phenomenon has also appeared.

– There is a trend for electric car drivers to blame the car’s automatic system, that it reacted too slowly and that they were thus unable to avoid the accident in time.

He says when the driver relies too much on the driver assistance systems, and therefore pays less attention to the traffic, the risk of injury and damage increases.

– When we read their explanation in the damage reports, it is repeated that they rely too much on the computer system in the car, which is only meant to be a support for the driver.

CAR DAMAGE: Communications manager at Gjensidige, Bjarne Aani Rysstad, also says his insurance company is seeing an increase in the number of car damages.  Photo: Magnus Nøkland / TV 2

CAR DAMAGE: Communications manager at Gjensidige, Bjarne Aani Rysstad, also says his insurance company is seeing an increase in the number of car damages. Photo: Magnus Nøkland / TV 2

Some of what Tryg reads is that “the automatic system kicked in too late” or that “the warning came on too late”.

Sees the same trend

Communications advisor Bjarne Aani Rysstad in Gjensidige tells TV 2 that they too notice the increase in the number of car injuries.

– We see that some motorists rely too much on the car’s systems, and it is true that these systems do not always work.

He points out that snow can cause radars and cameras to suddenly switch off. Parking sensors and reversing cameras are “good examples”.

– It is probably because you blindly trust the safety equipment, and if something happens, it will be natural for many to blame the car.

To avoid car damage, he encourages motorists to take it easy.

– Don’t rely entirely on the safety equipment, be in control of your driving and stay away from your mobile phone and screen while driving, says Rysstad.

– All drivers must be careful and drive safely. No matter what car you drive – you as the driver are responsible, says Bu in the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.

Did you know about this brilliant car trick? Watch video here:

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