Road safety charity Brake is appealing to all road users to keep road safety front of mind this Easter weekend, and to commit to giving the road their full attention to keep themselves and others safe.
As many people get set to head away for the long weekend, Brake is reminding drivers to plan their route, check their vehicle and take regular breaks when driving. The charity is urging drivers to take particular care given the current wet and wild weather in parts of the country, which may continue into the weekend.
Brake is also appealing to drivers to Pledge to drive safely every day, because road safety is for life, and each time we use roads we must be doing everything we can to keep ourselves and others safe. By remembering simple, key safety messages, and committing to do what we can to make roads safer, we can all help to prevent tragedies.
Brake's driver advice:
Be prepared. Plan your route to include breaks of at least 15 minutes every two hours on long journeys - use your breaks to see some different places on your route, have a coffee, or let the kids out to play in a park.
Check your vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is well maintained. Before setting off do a walk round check of your vehicle:
- Check your tyres have a tread depth of at least 3mm. Any less than that is particularly dangerous in wet weather. Also check tyre pressure and look for any cracks or bulges that may indicate a problem with the tyre.
- Check your lights are clean and are working.
- Check oil and water levels, and that other fluids such as power steering, windscreen washer and brake fluid, are well above minimum levels before setting off on a long journey.
- Check wiper blades are in full working order and are clearing the windscreen.
Follow Brake's key road safety messages and Pledge to drive safely:
Slow: Drive within speed limits, drive at 30km/h or lower in communities, and slow down on rural roads too. Avoid overtaking unless you're sure it's safe.
Sober: If driving, don't drink any alcohol, or take any illegal drugs or medication that could affect driving.
Sharp: Drive alert - not tired, ill or stressed. Get a good night's sleep before driving and take breaks every two hours. Have an eye test at least every two years and wear glasses or contact lenses if needed.
Silent: Phone off or on message service. Minimise other distractions such as sat nav/GPS and tuning the radio as much as possible.
Secure: Always belt up and insist that everyone else in the vehicle does the same and adjusts head restraints. If travelling with children, ensure you have correctly fitted, appropriate child restraints. Ensure your vehicle is well-maintained and serviced.
Sustainable: Only drive when you have to.
Make your Pledge at www.brake.org.nz/pledge.
Caroline Perry, Brake's NZ director said: "Road crashes are devastating for families and communities and are completely preventable tragedies. We're calling on drivers to do everything possible to protect themselves, their passengers, and other road users not just over the long weekend, but every day. We are urging drivers to be prepared, check your vehicle before setting off, and take regular breaks on your journey."
Brake is calling on members of the public to play their part in making roads safer by getting involved in Road Safety Week 2016 (16-22 May). Brake will be calling on everyone to be a #roadsafetyhero during Road Safety Week and beyond. To find out more and register to be part of the Week, go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.nz.