Road safety is about ALL drivers, not just tourists

A recent piece of research carried out by New Zealand car rental company GO Rentals has highlighted some of the main causes of accidents on New Zealand’s roads which shows that tourist drivers are only marginally more likely to crash because they fail to keep left than locals. The infographic which can be seen below highlights the issues around speeding, drugs and alcohol and fatigue as being some of the main causes of accidents on New Zealand’s roads.

Using information from the New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA) Crash Analysis System (CAS), GO Rentals discovered that accidents on New Zealand’s roads are caused by very similar factors for both NZ drivers and tourists; namely speed, drugs/alcohol and failing to keep left. The data shows that there were 27,494 accidents on NZ’s roads between 10 March 2014 and 9 March 2015 and that tourists failing to adjust to the conditions and rules on NZ’s roads was a cause of 358 (1%) of these accidents. In the North Island, this figure was just 0.9% and in the South where there are a lot more tourists on the roads, 2.8%.

Of the 232 fatal accidents in the same period, tourists failing to adjust to the conditions and rules accounted for just 3% of those accidents compared to speed (32%), drugs/alcohol (27%) and failing to keep left (25%).

Go Rentals general manager James Dalglish, who is also a Rental Vehicle Association of New Zealand (RVA) board member, said he hoped publishing the data would better educate New Zealanders.

“We have been looking into our own internal stats and comparing our own accident statistics year on year. We are actually seeing an overall reduction.”

GO Rentals is leading a drive to help educate and inform drivers about the rules and likely conditions they will face on New Zealand’s roads which are often very different to the roads they are used to at home. By providing a number of resources both on their website but also as part of the booking process, GO Rentals is aiming to reduce the number of accidents on NZ’s roads involving both tourists and NZ drivers. The resources include video content, website links and an online driving test to make sure people renting a car are as informed as possible before they head out onto NZ’s roads.

One of the biggest challenges is making sure people understand how long it can take to get from one place to another. GO Rentals recommend planning your journeys in advance and use the AA Traveller directions website which provides accurate times for journeys, reducing the chances of drivers speeding if they know in advance how long a trip is likely to take them.

A recent research report from the NZTA looked at how international visitors travel around NZ and this revealed that 68% travel by car.  The report also found that a third of international visitors underestimated the time a journey was expected to take, emphasising the need to plan ahead. The car rental company are currently developing a new section on their website which will contain 100+ itineraries for traveling around New Zealand all of which include accurate journey times from place to place, helping people to plan their trip in advance and allow enough time for their journey.

You can read more about the latest roads safety statistics and access the road safety resources on the GO Rentals website http://www.gorentals.co.nz/explore-new-zealand/road-safety-statistics-and-international-visitor-information/