Driver distraction and staying safe on our roads

21/03/2013 - Health and safety

Motor vehicle accidents kill and injure hundreds of New Zealanders every year. Every one of us spends time on New Zealand’s roads, as drivers and passengers, so we are all at risk of harm due to an accident.

According to the New Zealand Police, the typical causes of vehicle accidents are: inattention, distraction, fatigue, speed (loss of control), environmental factors, driving under influence and autocide (when people intentionally cause a vehicle incident). Most of these causes are legislated against: for example, the speed limit on the open road in New Zealand is 100 km/h. However, no legislation addresses distraction. To keep safe on the road, make sure you stay alert while driving.

Dom Kalasih, Z’s Logistics Manager, says: “sometimes it’s the littlest and most mundane things we do all the time that can be the cause of distraction.” Dom has some tips to avoid distraction:

• Stow your belongings in a secure place – preventing them from being thrown around the car or under your feet while driving

• Avoid eating while you’re driving

• Don’t drive if you’re suffering from stress or have had some distressing news

• Pull over to the side of the road to read maps

• Put make-up on at home: not while driving

• Roll your cigarettes before or after you drive your vehicle, or ask a passenger to do it for you (avoid smoking while driving, too).


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