So one month down in 2020!
Perhaps like us you’ve been doing a bit of reminiscing about the Christmas holiday…hitting the beaches, enjoy everything NZ has to offer. There’s always something special about that Christmas holiday, whether it’s the festive feeling or perhaps simply the freedom it brings.
Or perhaps you’re one of those that likes to get away when the crowds are all back at work? And you’re just back on deck or about to leave. Aren’t holidays grand!
But you know what isn’t grand, holiday traffic. Yes, it’s all part and parcel of that time of year, but the unique thing is that once you’re that “terrible, hot, slow trip, annoying, stop-start journey” suddenly fades into the background. Well for most of us it does, but sadly not all.
The reality is with holiday traffic comes a spike in risk, road related injuries and most devastatingly, a spike in our nation’s road toll.
Road accidents are always a horrible topic. “That’ll never happen to me” is a thought we all share, until it does. The statistics on our road’s incidents are a haunting reminder that we all need to be aware of the dangers that face us while travelling to and from our destinations.
Did you know that back in 2013, when Daft Punk was Getting Lucky and Miley Cyrus was doing her thing, we had 253 deaths due to road accidents? And since then this number has increased dramatically over the following years, with there being 378 recorded deaths in 2017.
That’s a 49% growth in just 4 years! The rate of injuries caused by road accidents grew over the same period from 11 934 (2013) to 13 881 (2017). In 2017 that equates to around 38 documented injuries every day, sobering stuff.
I think for a lot of us, including those tasked with getting these numbers down, the frustrating part of these fatal accidents is that a lot could have been avoided.
A simple lapse in concentration, a friend drinking a little too much or someone pushing the speed limit because he was running late for that meeting. Little things with incredible, live changing consequences.
We looked a little deeper and broke down the accidents in 2017 and the causes were as follows:
• Drugs & Alcohol - 34%
• Speeding - 26%
• Diverted Attention - 10%
• Fatigue - 10%
That makes for a scary read. Especially for the 60% of these incidences that involve Drugs, Alcohol and Speeding. These in particular are all outcomes that stem from controllable circumstances, these were choices made with terrible consequences.
And to some these may just be numbers on a page but to others, these are the those who’s holiday journey will never be forgotten for all the wrong reasons.
Hopefully, the 2019 data will show some improvements to these statistics. In effort to help get these number down and keep you safe on the road the team at Vehicle Technologies would like you to remember a few basic things.
When you are planning on getting behind the wheel ensure that you are sober and well rested. The sober one speaks for itself but fatigue can be hard to detect. If you are feeling tired or struggling to concentrate then take the time to refresh and recharge.
Ensure you are free of distraction, the cell phone being the biggest one these days! And yes, although illegal to use in a motor vehicle it is still usually sitting no further than a foot away from most people at all time.
Do yourselves and your loved ones a favour, let them know when you are travelling, that you won’t be able to respond and that you’ll let them know when you’re at your destination. Ensure when you are driving that even the temptation for distraction is minimised, trust us on this one, it will actually make you feel more at ease behind the wheel!
And of course for those of us that love racing let’s commit to leaving that to track days. Speed kills, it’s as simple as that…the statistics clearly show this.
Not only does Speeding put you and your passengers at risk but it reduces the time you and (very importantly) other road user have to react to dangerous situations. Keep the speed down and buy us all some precious time for when its needed.
Sober . Rested . Distraction Free . Suitable Speed.
It’s that simple, and it goes a long way. The stats we outlined earlier clearly show that.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m already counting down the days (327 at time of this blog going live!) until our next Christmas break.
On behalf of Vehicle Technologies, we hope you will do your part in creating safer roads for all. And if the worst thing we have to say about our future holiday journeys is “wow that was some bad traffic!”, in the grand scheme, that’s actually a good thing.