Tragic trends on the roads

by Andy Bryenton

The Automobile Association is urging everyone to think about how they can help make our roads safer in 2019. For a fifth straight year the number of people killed in crashes increased in 2018, with a provisional number of 380 deaths.

That continues a tragic trend of more deaths and injuries from crashes since the record low year of 2013, when 253 people died.

“When people think about fatal crashes, they generally think about behaviour like someone driving drunk or at extreme speeds, but this is only part of the picture,” said AA road safety spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

A study by the AA Research Foundation found that about half of fatal crashes involved extreme and reckless behaviour but the other half tended to involve ordinary everyday drivers who might make a mistake or a bad decision behind the wheel with tragic results.

“To turn around the terrible increase in road deaths we don’t just need to focus on stopping the extreme behaviour. The AA encourages everyone to think about their own behaviour on the roads and if there are things that you could do better?” Thomsen said.

“The New Year is a good time to think about whether there were times in 2018 when you went too fast for the conditions, kept driving when you were tired, were distracted by other things or lost your cool behind the wheel. Along with all the big-picture actions from the Government and authorities, improving safety needs the millions of individuals out on the roads every day to do what they can to reduce the risks.

“Simple things like always wearing a seatbelt, driving to the conditions, keeping a good following distance and avoiding distractions may not seem like much but when you have millions of people doing them, they add up to make a real difference.”