The National Road Safety Strategy is an ambitious plan by Australia to reduce the percentage road tolls by as much as 40% across all territories. From 2001 to 2010, it failed to meet its target, hitting only 37%.
In 2016, it experienced a significant spike after undergoing a downward trend since the 1970s. During this year, around 1,300 people died. It’s clear that the country has to do more if it hopes to save more lives. These three points can help provide the solutions:
1. Enhance Visibility at Night
Poor or low visibility is one of the challenges Australian drivers can face. It can also occur at night. To increase safety, drivers have to:
- Adjust the illumination of their headlights and fog lights, especially during poor conditions
- Avoid looking directly into the oncoming headlight
- Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front
- Use the warning device or the horn whenever it is necessary
For workers who need to be on the road during this time, they can keep themselves safe by wearing the right uniform. Companies such as Green Triangle Distributors provide compliant high-visibility vests that are easy to wear. It usually comes with yellow reflective tapes that drivers can see from a distance.
2. Increase Safety during Weekends
Accidents can happen at any time. A study by Fairfax Media, though, showed that the odds might be the highest on Saturday. For the research, the team looked into road fatality data for the past 15 years starting 2000. Around this period, over 22,000 death cases happened.
Of all the days, Saturday could be the most dangerous for the passengers, motorists, and pedestrians. Analysts believe that the number of vehicles on the road tends to increase on weekends.
The most dangerous time, meanwhile, is 3:30 p.m. It’s an ungodly hour wherein people are more tired from driving. The feelings of fatigue or exhaustion are high.
3. Improve Driver Behaviour and Road Design
Although road deaths in Australia decreased significantly, pedestrian fatalities went up, especially in specific territories. According to provisional information from the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, the pedestrian deaths increased from 161 to 174 between 2017 and October 2018.
From 2017 to May 2018, pedestrian fatalities were high in Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, and New South Wales, where it was the highest. South Australia was able to maintain the number at 3.
Two of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents were road design and driver behaviour. The Monash University Accident Research Centre revealed that those behind the wheel were more likely to become distracted by non-driving tasks every 96 seconds. These include eating, drinking, and using their mobile devices.
Other experts also think that traffic lights might not be friendly to the pedestrians since they can change quickly. They can prevent people from crossing the street safely.
The social and economic impact of road crashes, injuries, and deaths is high. It costs an average of $27 billion each year. The government might be able to reduce it by paying more attention to driving trends and increasing pedestrian safety.