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Good habits make good drivers - Road Safety Week


There were 37,980 people – as many people as live in Gisborne – injured on our roads last year, says ACC Chief Customer Officer Mike Tully.

“It’s a sobering reminder that behaviour on our roads needs to change. This is why ACC supports the Road Safety Week message from NZTA and the Police for people to put phones down and buckle up.”

Last year, ACC paid $464 million in compensation and rehabilitation to help people hurt in motor vehicle accidents. “That is an extraordinary amount of money – and it doesn’t include the huge cost of emergency hospital care.”

Around 13,200 people who received help from ACC last year were injured in previous years, but the damage was severe enough for them to need continued support. ACC helped a total of 51,223 people last year – the equivalent of the population of Invercargill.

“We are here to help, but we would much rather see fewer accidents and more people arriving at their destinations safely,” Mike Tully says.

Bad driving habits cost lives

“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,” he says.

The Ministry of Transport says driver distraction is a factor in around 11 per cent of crashes, and accounted for 22 deaths and 210 serious injuries in 2016. That same year, almost a third of people who died on New Zealand roads were not wearing seatbelts.

The World Health Organisation says that drivers using their mobile phones are four times more likely to be involved in a crash causing injury, and that figure is significantly higher if they are texting.

“We suggest always wearing your seatbelt, and never using your mobile phone while driving. It’s not that difficult. Changing our behaviour so we always do those simple things is an easy first step to reducing the carnage on our roads.”


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