One small change can make a big difference
What do you promise? Making good choices when driving can help save lives, it might be your own one day - so make one promise to be a better driver.
Make safe choices
Northland’s roads are a place of constant risk, with thousands of vehicles moving alongside one another. Since it’s impossible to control the choices of everyone on the road, we need to be defensive drivers. Getting behind the wheel is a time for patience and focus – qualities that can help you avoid a collision should someone else make a bad decision.
Thousands of crashes have involved distracted driving. Anything that prevents a driver from being able to safely operate the vehicle should be avoided.
Never use a cell phone behind the wheel, even hands-free
Pre-set your navigation system and music playlists before driving
22.9% of death and serious injury crashes between 2011-2015 in Northland were drivers with excessive alcohol levels. Impairment can also include being under the influence of drugs – both legal and illegal.
Designate an alcohol and drug-free driver or arrange alternate transportation
Check the side effects of your medications before getting behind the wheel
Check your speed
Driving too fast for the conditions was a factor in 24.9 per cent of all death and serious injury crashes between 2011-2015 in Northland. Speeding reduces the amount of time a driver has to react in a dangerous situation to avoid a crash.
Always allow adequate time to get to your destination
Adjust your speed for weather conditions – in certain situations the legal speed limit may be too fast
Our lives are busy and sometimes we try to fit in too much. This can be very dangerous behind the wheel if we don’t get enough rest. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep a day, while teens need 9-10 hours.
Create a regular sleep pattern so you can get plenty of rest
On long trips, take regular breaks to avoid fatigue
Help teens and children
Driving is a complex skill that demands judgement and experience, which can take years to acquire. Young drivers need as much experience as possible, and parents should help provide that by driving with their teens on a regular basis. Do not allow teens to drive with their friends while they are on a Restricted Licence. A single young passenger can increase a teen driver’s fatal crash risk 44 percent because of distractions from focussing solely on driving. The safety of child passengers is the responsibility of the driver, and requirements change as kids grow.
Make certain child safety seats are properly installed, that children are correctly secured and that the seats are appropriate to the child’s height, weight and developmental level
Regardless of age, make sure all passengers are correctly restrained before driving off.