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Friday, March 18, 2016

Please drive safely over the Easter long weekend

Australian fatalities during Easter more double

by Patricia Haueiss

The thing about Easter is everybody sees it as a longer holiday than it actually is, but it’s only four days so they rush.

Over the Easter long weekend of 2015 the Australian Road Toll Statistics from the Australian Department of Infrastructure show that the number of fatalities more than doubled last year compared to 2014. Plus, on the first and last day of Easter the speed of the cars in fatal crashes is faster than on the Saturday and Sunday. This is not a freak year as the stats for 2014 and 2013 show within the first and last 24 hours of Easter cars in fatal crashes travel around 100km/h On average over the three years this is nearly 30km/h faster than the speeds for crashes during the middle of Easter.

This means the race to come and go from Easter destinations might be a factor. Speed is a major issue on national holidays not just because drivers rush but because of the number of cars on the roads: the crush!

The global car insurer Allianz warns that speeding is a factor in about 30% of road fatalities with no less than 4000 people injured in speed-related incidents per year.

Zvezde Klingenberg co-founder of, Australia’s largest online tyre retailer, recommends: ‘If you can’t avoid driving during the Easter break then be vigilant, stay within the speed limit and check the state of your car and especially your tyres before you set out. They are the only point of contact between road and your vehicle. New tyres can improve breaking distance up to 30% which could save lifes.’

Here are the stats for the reasons people crash from the Australian Accident Statistics: intoxication 13.5%, falling asleep 11.8% and fatigue 10.9%.Combine these and you have 36.2% of crashes caused by people stretching their physical limits. It is the combination of the rush and the festivities of Easter that put people in a condition where they’re more likely to fall into that third. And this is without speed in the equation!

It is true the Australian road toll has decreased by approximately 500 deaths per decade since the 1970s but did you know the Australian road toll in 2015 was 238 people. Now, the number injured: 6,529. For Easter of the same year, road deaths numbered 20 in just 4 days. Now despite our laws, double demerit points and roadside breath testing, these stats indicate we have a long way to go before safe driving becomes nation-wide by default.
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