Good habits make good drivers – Road Safety Week

Released 08/05/2018

We want drivers to change their habits for the better this Road Safety Week.

There were 37,980 people – as many people as live in Gisborne – injured on our roads last year. Including those who still need ongoing support from previous years, we helped a total of 51,223 road accident victims last year. That’s the equivalent of the population of Invercargill. 

Last year we paid $464 million in compensation and rehabilitation to help those hurt in motor vehicle accidents. That extraordinary amount doesn’t include the cost of emergency hospital care. 

Two simple behaviour changes could have prevented many of these crashes. That’s what this Road Safety week is all about: buckle up and put down the phone.

Bad driving habits cost lives

The Ministry of Transport says driver distraction is a factor in around 11% of crashes. It accounted for 22 deaths and 210 serious injuries in 2016. That same year, almost a third of drivers and passengers who died on our roads were not wearing seatbelts.

Research from the World Health Organisation shows that drivers using their mobile phones are four times more likely to be involved in a crash causing injury. That figure is significantly higher if they are texting. 

“People need to remember that behind these statistics, the true cost is the far-reaching impact – physically and mentally – that road accidents have on victims, their families, and local communities. Every death and serious injury on our roads is a tragedy,” ACC Chief Customer Officer Mike Tully says.

Be better on the road

A study from University College London says it takes on average 66 days to hard-wire a new habit. But for a simple task it's much shorter at 18 days. Road Safety Week is a great time to ask yourself what you can do to make yourself a better driver, and put it into action.

The Road Safety Week website has some great resources for staying safe on the road.

Road Safety Week

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