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Christmas Road Safety

We’ve all heard that old Bing Crosby Christmas song, “I’ll be home for Christmas”, a poignant reminder to us all of the importance of being amongst family at such a special time of year.

However the reality is that during the 2018/19 Christmas period, 9 lives were lost on New Zealand roads leaving countless families and friends devastated as they started to plan a funeral rather than celebrating around the Christmas tree.

But it seems that these fatalities are just the tip of the iceberg. According to the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland (CARRS-Q), the number of people killed on the roads does not provide a true reflection of the impact of road trauma.

Research shows that for every one death on the road, 30 people are hospitalised. In the calendar year of 2018 there were 2,599 people seriously injured on our nations road and many more minor injuries.

So this festive season, Road Safety Education Limited (RSE), the leading road safety education organisation and the provider of the RYDA programme, urge us all to “Drive So Others Survive”, and use the words from various Christmas carols to help get us home safely.

God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen (and women!)… Don’t let yourself drive if you’re feeling very tired, as fatigue can cause you to lose concentration on the road. Fatigue is suspected to be the primary cause of more than 20% of road fatalities. If you are on the road and you start to yawn, your eyes feel heavy or your concentration is waning, pull over and take a 15 minute power nap.

We wish you a Merry Christmas… – but not too merry… We’ve all heard the statistics and campaigns around drink driving in this country. Whilst the legal limit of alcohol in your system on the road is 50mg of alcohol in every 100ml of blood, your best bet is to avoid drinking alcohol all together if you plan on driving the family around at Christmas time.

Alcohol impairs your judgement, gives you slower reaction times, causes fatigue and if over the limit, you may end up with fines and loss of your license, or worse – causing serious injury to you, your family and others on the road.

Silent Night …. The possibility of road crashes increases at night, due to visibility issues, fatigue and wildlife. If you are travelling at night and your car breaks down, ensure that you put your hazard lights on so that you’re visible to oncoming traffic.

Do you hear what I hear? …. Hopefully you are not hearing the sound of your mobile phone – a major distraction in a vehicle. Being distracted increases your chances of having a crash. It slows down your reaction times and puts you in danger of failing to see hazards such as traffic lights, stop signs or other road users, including pedestrians and bicycle riders. This Christmas put your phone in the glove box and drive safely!

Because after all, all your family really want for Christmas…. Is you!!


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