How can we prevent road accidents on NZ roads?
Everyday many people are involved in road accidents. Some are killed and many more are injured. Vehicle accidents are a major cause of death on New Zealand road’s. For this reasons, I feel it is essential to place emphasis on the causes of road accidents and how this could be prevented.
According to the Ministry of Transport, the current death toll statistics from the last 12 months until to date sits at 321.
To begin with, out of the many causes of the road accidents , drink driving and speeding is the most common and mostly it's the young ones who get affected. Alcohol is the biggest factor that contributes to road crashes. Alcohol/drugs were a factor in 30% of fatal crashes, 20% of serious injury crashes and 12% of minor crashes. That’s about 78 deaths and nearly 1700 people injured every year.
Drink driving and crashing seems to be a male problem. For example, in the 3 years 2011-2013, 85% of alcohol/drug affected drivers who died in crashes were male. Of all drivers involved in fatal crashes, the 16-19 age group is the most likely to be affected by alcohol/drugs, closely followed by the 20-24 age group.
More so, drink driving doesn’t just affect drivers. For every 100 alcohol/drug impaired drivers who die in road crashes, 47 passengers and 17 sober road users die with them. Thus could one imagine how fatal and upsetting this could be to those innocent families who get to face the aftermaths of the accidents and the victims who survive after being involved in an accident.
Secondly, speeding is another cause of road accidents when drivers drive over the legal speed limit and lose control when on the road. An increase in average speed is directly related both to the likelihood of a crash occurring and to the severity of the consequences of the crash.
Drivers when drive over the required speed limit tend not to be able to negotiate bends or lose control of their vehicles and or many a times hit onto other vehicles on the road ending up causing fatal accidents on the roads.
Last But not the least, some parents fail to fasten their child’s restraints to keep their children safe. Many a times even, children are not on car seats at all and this could be really fatal if an accident may happen because nothing preventative is in place to save the child. Therefore, as young children we all should be responsible to ensure that our younger siblings and anyone who should be on car seats should wear one all the time and all passengers as well.
For the above mentioned reasons, I believe road safety should be a priority and everyone should take active participation in preventing road accidents. As a future citizen, I feel that we should bring awareness on road safety and educate our community and the upcoming teenagers and kids of today to ensure that seat belts are fastened at all times, discourage drink driving at home and ensure to get a sober driver at all times.