OPINION: One of the most dangerous things we will ever do is drive

Summer is the time of year where people young and old jump in their cars, utes, vans and campervans to head home or visit somewhere new.

According to CEO of not-for-profit organisation Road Safety Education Limited Terry Birss, “getting behind the wheel of a car as a young driver or passenger is said to be among the most dangerous things a person will do in their entire life”.

In fact in the future people may look back and wonder why people, multiple times a day, accelerated towards each other inside solid objects, passing within inches of touching.

It may become seen as madness by future generations who may not have to risk their lives while on route to a holiday destination.

The summer period sees people flock to our narrow roads, many of which are dirt that lead to the most scenic coastal hotspots.

More and more vehicles are seen drifting to the right on our region’s winding passageways to serenity, despite developments in technology.

Perhaps students should be allowed to take safe driver courses while at school, rather than having to learn how to handle a car in the heat of the moment.

We all know that the younger you learn something the more skilled you become with age.

While we have become accustomed to judging each year by a road toll, in 2015 there were 1033 country drivers who received minor injuries, 2738 were moderately injured and 1425 received serious injuries.

According to the state government’s Centre for Road Safety, in country NSW 116 drivers and 51 passengers were killed in the same year.

Statistics closer to home show the Bega Valley sees more serious injuries occur to road users than minor injuries.

Since 2011 there have been 212 serious injuries caused on our roads, compared to 177 minor injuries.

In the same period 17 people were killed on Bega Valley roads.

The most common crash types in country NSW are caused by vehicles taking corners, with 616 last year alone.

One statistic that might surprise you is the most likely time to crash is between 2pm and 6pm in fine weather conditions.

Speed is often touted as the cause of most road deaths. Statistics show the most common time fatalities and serious injuries occur due to speeding is between 2pm and 3pm on a Saturday in March.


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