According to the New Zealand Transport Agency, approximately 12,500 individuals were injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2016 alone. Unfortunately, this resulted in 286 deadly traffic accidents and 328 deaths.
While it is essential to maintain caution on New Zealand roads, there are other things drivers can do to help minimise the number of automobile accidents whilst driving.
In this blog post, we are going to examine the ten most common causes of accidents in New Zealand that you should avoid to remain safe on our roadways.
But before we start, if you are someone who transports dangerous goods and needs help with driver’s licence endorsements, consider taking a course with Roadtrain.
Without a doubt, speeding tops the list of life-threatening automobile accidents. The faster a car runs, the more significant the impact. Even exceeding the prescribed speed limit by just 10 kilometres per hour significantly increases the probability of an accident compared to driving at the designated speed.
While driving at a modest speed on an open road may be inconvenient, speed restrictions are in place for a purpose. If you want to contribute to decreasing accident statistics on New Zealand’s roads, remaining below the speed limit will greatly increase the chances of completing a safe journey. It will also improve your control and ability to act on sudden road events, such as an unexpected car pulling in from the side of the road.
2. Drunk Driving
Whether it’s beer after a rugby game or a weekend away at a vineyard, Kiwis enjoy indulging in an occasional alcoholic beverage. However, driving while being inebriated is not just reckless; it is also a significant contributor to traffic accidents. If you want to be a responsible Kiwi driver – and a loving friend – make sure you and your friends only drive when you are absolutely sober.
3. Distracted Driving
With so much happening in the world nowadays and with the constant access we have to our phones, it’s easy for drivers to get distracted. Distractions may occur both inside and outside the car, which is why it is critical to maintain a laser-like focus on the road ahead at all times. Avoid letting your eyes stray to billboards and never use your phone whilst delayed in traffic during your early morning or late-night travels.
4. Not driving to the conditions
New Zealand’s diverse climate ranges from the blistering summer heat in the upper North Island to snow-capped mountains in the South Island.
When the weather changes, you must modify your driving style. Drive cautiously on wet roads and avoid rushing into bends where you may lose control. Saving a few seconds on your commute by driving hastily in the rain or snow is not worth risking a tragic accident.
5. Running stop signs and red lights
Is it really so wrong to drive past a red light or a stop sign when no one else is around? The answer should be self-evident to any responsible driver since you never know if another driver is thinking the same thing.
Regardless of the time of day or how quickly you need to get somewhere, never drive past a red light, stop sign, or give way sign.
6. Unsafe lane changing
Along with speeding and distracted driving, improper lane changes can easily lead to an accident, either with your own car or with another vehicle in the lane you’re switching to.
As per NZ traffic rules, one needs to give signals 3 seconds before changing lanes. This allows other cars sufficient time to notice what you’re about to do and modify their speed or approach accordingly. Do not assume that other drivers will be as careful or as vigilant as you are; take the time to correctly signal to prevent a vehicle disaster.
Tailgating (driving too closely to another vehicle) is virtually certain to result in an accident at some point. Generally, tailgaters have trouble adhering to the speed limit, drive irresponsibly in terrible weather, and are distracted by the urge to get there quickly.
Don’t put your timetable ahead of someone else’s safety, and keep in mind that tailgating more than doubles the chances of a car accident. Many drivers may get frightened and distracted if someone drives too closely behind them, increasing the likelihood of a disaster.
8. Road Rage
Following up on the last point about tailgating, most of us must have encountered some kind of road rage at some point in life. While drivers may be tempted to engage in a feud with another driver or just honk their car behind a slow driver, road rage (as it’s called) serves as another source of distraction. It diverts their attention away from the road and decreases one’s awareness of their surroundings.
9. Tyre Blowouts
Maintaining your vehicle on a regular basis is critical to keeping it functioning smoothly and in peak condition. While you may not maintain your automobile as often as needed, there are a few easy inspections that you can do at home.
Assessing the condition of your car’s tyres mitigates not only the possibility of an unexpected blowout but also eliminates the need for costly roadside assistance. Additionally, a wheel blowout can quickly lead to a vehicle collision, particularly if the driver is also violating any of the above safe driving recommendations.
10. Loose objects in cars
If you’ve ever driven a car whilst transporting items, you’ll understand how a sudden decrease in speed can create chaos with loose objects. Keeping your car’s spaces free of things like bottles and rubbish not only improves its appearance but also makes it safer for you and everyone else on the road.
While the suggestions above work as amazing tips to keep safe on the road, accidents may and do occur.
Roadtrain wants to ensure that New Zealanders maintain safety on the roads, whether behind the wheel or not. Therefore, we provide high-quality training, driver’s licence endorsements, class 2 – 5 licences, accelerated learners licence and more. Contact our experts to learn more.