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Fatality Free Friday - Reducing accidents on the roads

Fatality Free Friday is a road safety initiative across Australia, which aims to reduce road traumas on Australian roads.

Each year thousands of Australian’s sign up to the pledge to beat road traumas and a number of events are held nationally to support it.

Friday worst for road traffic accidents

Data from both the Victorian and Queensland governments show that Fridays are the worst day of the week for road accidents.

Between 2011 and 2015, there were almost 11,000 accidents on Vic roads on a Friday – 210 ending in fatalities. And in Queensland, there were 7,700 accidents and 176 fatalities during the same period.[1]

What factors are making Friday the worst day of the week for accidents remain unclear, but the numbers highlight the importance of initiatives like Fatality Free Friday.

Drugged and dangerous drivers

This year’s Fatality Free Friday has had an increased focus on more experienced drivers and drug use. Recent studies have shown that driving under the influence of drugs is perhaps more common than once thought.

The Australian Road Safety Foundation commissioned a study to investigate the prevalence of drug driving and found some surprising results, especially amongst the 25-34 age group.

More than one in ten drivers in this age group admitted to driving under the influence of illicit drugs in the last 12 months. And one in five believed that cocaine, ice and acid would not impact their ability to drive!

The CEO of Australian Road Safety Foundation, Russell White commented.

“It is alarming that so many seemingly experienced drivers do not realise the extent to which drugs can impair their ability to drive safely,”

“The effects of illegal substances will always be unpredictable. Drug use can impair vision, reaction time, judgment, hearing and memory and when combined with driving, the results can be devastating.”

Taking the pledge

The Fatality Free Friday pledge has now been signed by 160,000 people. Those who take the pledge promise to:

  • Always be fit to drive
  • Stay focused on the road
  • Scan the road ahead
  • Keep a safe distance
  • Drive to suit the conditions

Just one fatality free Friday will avoid the average 5.3 deaths that occur on Australian roads on Friday. That’s their aim, not a single road traffic death for one day of the year.

The hope is that the increased focus on road safety and safe driving for one day, will affect their driving over subsequent days too. And perhaps even change their outlook of safety completely – after time.

  1. Data from Data.Vic and the Queensland Government.

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: May 26, 2016.

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