We have made good progress on the key principle of our programme. Over the last 5 years there has been a 60% drop in the number of drink drivers detected under the age of 20. The introduction of the zero-tolerance alcohol policy for drivers under the age of 20 has contributed to this. Sadly, it is still a leading cause of death and serious injury on our roads. By spreading the word we can educate all New Zealanders and ensure it continues to be a declining issue among young drivers.
Speed has been a factor in more than half (53%) of the fatal crashes involving young people. At 60kph it will take you 37m to come to a complete halt, whereas at 50kph the distance is only 28m. If those extra metres save someones life is it really worth going a few kilometres faster? It's a limit not a target! Safe speeds is an important message for the whole community and our charity needs your voice to spread the message. Besides, we live in such a beautiful country... what's the rush?
It's hard focusing on one thing at a time when you are surrounded by so many distractions (friends... phones... that cute boy/girl walking down the street...). Younger drivers have the highest rate of distraction-related fatal and serious injury crashes. Research has found if you have your eyes off the road for three seconds or longer you are 24 times more likely to crash! We want to help young people identify potential distractions and make vehicles distraction free.
15-19 year olds are 7 times more likely to be involved in a crash than their parents. This is because they underestimate risky situations and don't spot potential hazards. Research shows that parts of the brain that assess risk and control impulses continue developing into a persons early twenties. We need to be aware of all the risks when driving so we can make safer decisions in motor vehicles.
Driving to the Conditions
Our beautiful country can provide some challenging weather conditions. Even light rain can affect visibility. In New Zealand ice and snow on roads is common. Currently, 3 young drivers every year are killed and 200 more injured due to the effects of adverse weather conditions. When roads are slippery there is less friction. This means your vehicle takes longer to stop and it is easier to lose control. Make sure you increase your following distance from 2 seconds to 4 seconds when weather conditions are poor.
There is no greater reducer of crash risk over time than experience. Research has found that young drivers who clocked up 120 hours or more of supervised driving practice had a 40% reduction in crash risk. Yet, on average, learner drivers in New Zealand clock up less than 50 hours! We need you guys to take responsibility for building driving experience. We encourage you to seek support and guidance to build your confidence and experience on the road.
The New Zealand Automobile Association is one of the most recognised and respected organisations in New Zealand, and their Driving School has partnered with SADD to ensure you get the best, most up-to-date information as possible.