Give youngsters the message on safe driving this holiday season…

Image via jenineabarbanel is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Parents in Waipā are being urged to speak to young drivers about safe driving habits before they head on summer road trips over the holiday period.

The call comes weeks out from the start of the festive season when thousands head to holiday destinations.

Waipā District Council Transportation Manager Bryan Hudson said it was important for parents to discuss what being safe on the road means with their teens before the start of the holidays.

“The Christmas/New Year period is the busiest time of year on our roads and it is when we see the highest number of crashes and fatalities.

“Young drivers aged between 16 and 24 are much more at risk of being involved in fatal or serious injury crashes so it’s important to have a conversation about safe driving to get them thinking of the risks of the road.”

According to recent statistics, 16-24 year-old drivers make up around 13 per cent of licensed drivers but were responsible for 30 per cent of serious injury crashes and 26 per cent of fatal crashes.

The statistics suggest young drivers are often less familiar with the driving task, more likely to take risks, and tend to drive in higher-risk situations, such as at night and with peer passengers. They are also more likely to drive and travel in vehicles with lower safety ratings.

Hudson urged parents to share the following messaging with young drivers:

  • Speed always determines the outcome of a crash so the faster you go, the bigger the mess.
  • Put your mobile phone in the boot or simply turn it off to avoid temptation.
  • Drive sober and remember, you can still be over the limit the next day after a night of drinking.
  • Wear a seat belt, even in the back seat to protect you in case of a collision.

“Many crashes occur when a car crosses the centre line so remind young drivers to stay on their side of the road and only pass other vehicles if they have a clear vision of what is coming. The road code says 100 metres, or a rugby field, of clear road for the whole time you are passing – if not, don’t pass.

“One of the best ways for parents to help young drivers to make good choices is by taking an active interest in their driving, even once they have their restricted and full licenses.”

For more information on driver safety can be found at http://www.reducetherisk.co.nz/about/.

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