Drivers urged to take it easy this Easter

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Road safety and trauma experts at the University of Adelaide are calling on motorists to be extra careful on the roads this Easter.

Researchers from the University's Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) say there are many contributing factors to vehicle accidents, especially during long weekend holidays like Easter.

"Research shows that most crashes happen to ordinary people making ordinary mistakes - it is not just about extreme behaviour," says Professor Mary Lydon, Director of CASR.

"More than 15% of crashes are thought to involve fatigue, which is a very high risk during holiday weekends.

"With young drivers, there are mutliple factors to be aware of. Young drivers are at greatest risk of having an accident in the first 12 months after getting their P plates. They are at higher risk when they have two or more young passengers. And those in rural areas are at more than twice the risk of being killed or seriously injured than those in Adelaide."

Professor Lydon has also repeated warnings about incremental increases in speed.

"In a 60 km/h speed limit area, the risk of involvement in a casualty crash doubles with each 5 km/h increase in travelling speed above 60 km/h," she says.

"If you're on a country road, bear in mind that on average, travelling at 100km/h uses 8% less fuel than travelling at 110km/h. So you might not reach your destination as quickly, but you're more likely to reach it safely and with some extra fuel in your tank."

University of Adelaide trauma expert Associate Professor Bill Griggs AM ASM, Director of Trauma Services at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, has joined the warnings for motorists.

"The consequences of failing to concentrate, driving for too long without resting, or going a little too fast can become catastrophic in an instant, and you don't get to go back and try again. Do we really need to shave a few minutes off our trip?" he asks.

"Sadly there are South Australian families for whom Easter is now always a sad reminder of a loved one killed or injured on our roads in past years. Hopefully we won't add our own families to this group this year.

"Please drive with care and aim to arrive alive."


Contact Details

Professor Mary Lydon
Centre for Automotive Safety Research
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 7362

Associate Professor William (Bill) Griggs
Director, Trauma Services, Royal Adelaide Hospital
and Clinical Associate Professor
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8222 4408

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762