For years New Zealand has waged a war on drink driving, and there have been significant improvements in youth drink driving culture! A study conducted by AA research foundation found that between 2009-2014 there was a 62% decline in youth drink driving and 84% decline in youth repeat drink driving. This is an endorsement of the legislative and policy changes and education initiatives focused on youth drink driving and young drivers during this time. It strongly suggests that if SADD work alongside our road safety partners further reduction is possible.
Now it’s time we step up and focus on drug driving too. In the past 4 years, there have been 2,075 serious crashes due to young people driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. There is an opportunity for us young kiwis to reconsider how we see the increasing impairment problems that we and our peers face. Check out our resources and activities for ways you can get involved to make a difference and reverse the growing statistics of driving under the influence. By spreading the word, we can educate all New Zealanders and ensure this continues to be a declining issue among young drivers. It‘s up to us.
The speed you drive affects all road users (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists). In 2018, speed was a factor in almost 50% of fatal and injury crashes involving a driver under the age of 25 and has been a factor in over 25,000 crashes since 2014. We live in a culture of driving fast, overtaking, and thinking “she’ll be right”. Just a 5% reduction in your speed is equal to a 10% decrease in crashes. What’s the rush? Why the rush? There is no rush.
Safe speed is an important message for the whole community. Many crashes are preventable. We urge all road users to care and choose behaviours that will keep all road users safe.
You wouldn’t text while walking on a tight rope, so why would you text while driving? Even reading a small text while behind the wheel is the same as driving the entire length of a rugby field blindfolded. In that time, you can drive past over 20 parked cars. In 2018, 38.8% of all distraction-related crashes involved a driver who was under 25.
There are many distractions when using the road, including cellphones, passengers, eating, navigation... basically anything that takes your attention away from what's in front of you! We are the young people that can make the change. Put down the cheeseburger, pick up these resources, get involved, and drive the change you want to see on our roads.
Phone free 48 is a good example of how you can get out there and bring awareness to the plaguing movement of distracted drivers. It brings attention to the risks caused by driving, and how we can collectively work to reverse the effects.
Risks aren’t necessarily our fault, but how we react to them can make or break our road experiences. As young road users, we need to be better prepared and aware of any risks that could affect our ability to arrive safely. 16-19 year olds are 7 times more likely to be involved in a crash than their parents because they underestimate risky situations and don't spot potential hazards. It’s important that we learn to recognise the different internal, consequential, and external risks so that together we can be better, more aware, and more prepared road users.
Risks include (but are not limited to):
- Driver actions (swerving to avoid animals, overtaking, moving through intersections)
- Other road users (cyclists, scooters, pedestrians)
- Vehicle safety ratings
- Railway safety
Driving to the Conditions
Young people are not driving to the conditions. Since 2016, there have been over 1,000 fatal and injury crashes where the driver failed to drive to the road and weather conditions. 48% of those drivers were under the age of 25. We want our young road users more experienced, educated, and aware of the conditions they will face from the weather and the roads.
Weather conditions: Wind, rain, ice, snow, sunstrike
Road conditions: Rural, open, motorways, windy roads, sharp corners, potholes, roadworks
Check out the links below for some great tools!
Do you have the key steps for success? When we begin the journey of obtaining our license it affects all road users, including cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians. We all rely on knowledge and experience to keep us safe on the roads. There have been 27,111 crashes due to lack of experience factors since 2014, and we need all road users to build their experience and confidence in order to stop this growing further.
Check out SADD’s Driver Education Package to spread awareness about building experience in your school and community. This uses best-practice evidence-based road safety education approaches to encourage young kiwis on the driver license journey. It contains a range of activities and resources for you to use, and links closely with drive.govt.nz and the AA Ignition programme. It also encourages parents to be influencers on the journey, and includes a parent pamphlet to help guide them and you through the process.