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Focus on the biggest road safety risk

Focus on the biggest road safety risk


Inattention and distraction are not recognised as the major threats they are on the road, says the Automobile Association.

Tomorrow marks the start of 2014’s Road Safety Week and its focus this year is on the need for people to pay full attention on the roads.

“People need to understand that crashes aren’t just about speeding or drink driving,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“A huge number of crashes that leave people dead or injured involve a law-abiding, sober driver being momentarily distracted or not seeing something on the road around them. The AA believes distraction is the biggest road safety risk.”

A major US study* that recorded 42,300 hours of real-world driving found that 80% of crashes involved driver inattention in the three seconds before the incident.

Some of the common causes of driver distraction in crashes are things like talking with passengers, using cellphones, reaching for something within the car and dealing with animals or children.

“It’s human nature that we will all lose focus or get distracted occasionally but the key thing is to recognise when it happens and quickly refocus. It’s good to remind ourselves that one moment can be all it takes for a tragedy to happen,” says Mr Thomsen.

“For drivers it’s about keeping your eyes and mind on the road, not using your cellphone and not trying to do other tasks while you’re driving. Keeping at least a 2-second following distance is really important as well, so you have more time to react if something unexpected happens.”

“Staying focussed is just as important for pedestrians and people riding bikes to remember as well. About half of the crashes where pedestrians are hurt involve someone moving out on to the road heedless of the traffic.”

Ends

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Election Day: Make Sure You're A Part Of It!

Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

“The people and parties we elect tomorrow will be making the decisions that affect us, our families and our communities,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “It doesn’t get much more important than that, and we need all New Zealanders to use their voice and vote.”

Voting places will be open from 9.00am until 7.00pm on election day. The busiest time at voting places is usually 9.00am - 11.00am.

“Take your EasyVote card with you when you go to vote, as it will make voting faster and easier, and vote close to home if you can. But don’t worry if you forget your card, or didn’t receive one, because as long as you are enrolled to vote, your voice will be heard,” says Mr Peden. More>>

 

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