We think you are in Victoria. If not please click 'Change'

In your state, you are required to confirm you wish to access this information. Please enter 'QLD' or 'WA' in the field below to continue.

No thanks

There’s more to road safety than speed: The fatal five

Countryside open road | Shine Lawyers

Christmas is a time to celebrate with family and friends. It’s also, sadly, a time when not all road users will make it home to their friends and families safely. Read Madeline’s story here.

Each year, Australia’s road toll rises during the Christmas and New Year holidays as traffic volumes increase and people travel longer distances in unfamiliar environments. With everyone rushing to get to their holiday destination on time, speed is an obvious culprit for rising accident rates. However, there’s more to the story.

If you’re driving over this Christmas period, stay safe on the roads by keeping in mind the “Fatal Five”:

1. Speeding

You may think it doesn’t make a difference but driving even a little bit over the speed limit is dangerous for you and everyone else on the road. For every 5km over the limit you travel in a 60km/h zone, your chances of being involved in an accident double. So next time you’re rushing to get somewhere on time, don’t risk it. Take your time, stick to the limit and get there safely.

2. Driving under the influence

Around one quarter of deaths on Australian roads involve drink-driving, while driving under the influence of drugs contributes to approximately 10-30% of the country’s road fatalities. If you’ve been enjoying the festivities a little too much this Christmas, stay well away from the wheel. Make use of public transport, grab a cab or stay overnight instead.

3. Seatbelts

Many people are unaware that failing to wear a seatbelt is one of the leading causes of road fatality in Australia, responsible for over 150 deaths each year. Wearing a seatbelt reduces your risk of fatal or serious injury by up to 50%, so always remember to buckle up before hitting the road.


4. Fatigue

Driver fatigue has a devastating impact on our road toll. In Victoria alone, a third of serious accidents are caused by driver fatigue, killing about 50 and seriously injuring around 300 individuals every year. If you’re already feeling tired, don’t risk it by hitting the road. Even if you’re feeling alert, remember to take frequent breaks at least every two hours. Check out our interactive map to find rest stops along your next journey.

5. Distraction

A distracted driver is a dangerous driver. Whether it’s from a mobile phone, an excitable passenger or a tasty snack, driver distraction contributes to 1 in 4 crashes on our roads. If you’re travelling at 50km/h, taking your eyes off the road for two seconds means you’ll be travelling blind for 27 metres. Rather than reaching for your mobile phone, turn it off or place it on silent. If you do need to make a phone call, pull over safely or wait until you reach your destination.

Shine LawyersMotor vehicle accident lawyers

If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, Shine Lawyers has motor vehicle accident compensation lawyers who can help you make a claim.

To find out more and start your road accident compensation claim, get in touch today.

Written by Shine Lawyers on . Last modified: February 14, 2018.

Join the discussion

Share this article:

There are 0 comments. Be the first!

Back to school road safety

During the busy rush of getting kids ready for a new year of school with books, uniforms and bags, it’s important for parents to ensure their children are stepping into the new school year on the right, and safe, foot. A recent study has returned some alarming statistics, showing that over 70 percent of drivers […]

Read more

Mark Bates – This is my story

An electrician by trade, Mark was the breadwinner for his wife and daughter. A fit and active 43-year-old, he enjoyed riding motorbikes, particularly his Yamaha Road Star. Mark was returning home from a regular day at work. He was riding his motorbike home from a job site when he was t-boned at an intersection by […]

Read more

Driving in Australia: A guide for British motorists

Driving in Australia is quite similar to driving in the UK. We both drive on the left hand side of the road. We both have strict laws against drink driving and will take points off your licence for breaking the safety rules. With our smaller population, wide roads and plenty of open space, you might […]

Read more