Being a safe driver involves being aware of much more than just what your individual vehicle is doing. To ensure safety, drivers need to be acutely aware of their surrounding environment, including other traffic, potential obstacles and weather events.
These concerns are heightened over certain periods of the year. Events such as long weekends greatly increase the amount of traffic present on major routes, greatly overloading busy streets and highways in many cases. As traffic volumes grow, so do the risk of collisions, significantly increasing the chances of car accident injury claims occurring.
Whenever people take to the road, whether for work or for a holiday, it's important they're aware not just of their own actions, but those of other drivers as well.
Why are long weekends so dangerous?
NSW is currently undergoing significant challenges with regards to road safety. According to the state police, the current road toll is higher than last year's for the same time period. So far in 2016, 177 people have lost their lives across 167 accidents, a number that's up on 145 fatalities at this point in 2015.
With that in mind, the NSW Police Department is strongly encouraging people to be aware of what different events and occurrences mean for their time on the road. Not only are their more drivers and vehicles on the road over long weekends, people are often travelling much greater distances than usual as they head away on holiday destinations.
On top of this, the usual distractions mixed with longer driving times makes it even more difficult for drivers to stay safe, as Assistant Commissioner John Hartley explained.
"Fatigue, impairment as a result of alcohol or drug use, seatbelts, speed and distraction are all risks that can lead to tragedy while on the road," he said. "I urge everyone to take care, drive responsibly and respect other motorists and obey the road rules."
"Drinking alcohol or using drugs and then getting behind the wheel is a recipe for disaster."
Last year, four people lost their lives in accidents over Queen's Birthday Weekend. While this number may seem low, the NSW Police urge that anything above zero is unacceptable – accidents shouldn't be considered an inevitability.
To find out more about car accident injury claims or other legal issues, contact the team at Gerard Malouf and Partners.