Calls to reduce car accident injuries on NSW roads

Date: May 12, 2015

Efforts are underway to minimise the number of car accident injuries on New South Wales roads later this month, as Fatality Free Friday is officially launched.

Spearheaded by the Australian Road Safety Foundation, the scheme is devised to see whether the state can manage an entire day without any car accident fatalities.

Fatality Free Friday has run every year since 2007, with last year’s event largely proving a success. The 2014 scheme saw five states without any road fatalities, while Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria recorded one each.

This year will see even more of an effort made in New South Wales to make sure not one fatality occurs, noted Evan Walker, acting general manager at Transport NSW’s Centre for Road Safety.

He continued: “Road trauma on NSW roads not only shatters families, but it costs the community an estimated $5 billion each year.

“Last year, 309 people lost their lives on NSW roads and while this was the equal lowest annual total since 1923, it still left far too many families and friends grieving the loss of a loved one.”

Drivers are asked to head to the Fatality Free Friday website to make their pledge to play a part in improving road safety. So far, more than 100,000 people have already done this. This year’s Fatality Free Friday is scheduled for May 29.

The pledge includes factors such as keeping to the speed limit and adapting driving styles to the conditions of the road. Keeping mobile phones out of reach and making sure drivers are sufficiently rested before getting behind the wheel also feature.

Alcohol also plays an important role in the campaign, as motorists are encouraged to make sure they put a plan B in place if they have a drink. With drink driving a major problem in NSW, this could limit the number of car accident compensation claims.

Transport NSW statistics show that drink driving is a factor in around 20 per cent of all crashes in the state. Of all the motorists killed between 2008 and 2012, 89 per cent were male, while 66 per cent were under the age of 40.

Alcohol has a severe impact on reaction times and slows down drivers’ ability to judge speeds and distances from other cars. It also has the potential to make the motorist feel drowsy, meaning they run the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel.

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