Winter school holidays are now in full swing for Victoria and South Australia, and the key message is to take it easy away from the classroom as well as on the road.
Road Safety Education Limited (RSE), a not for profit organisation which runs Australia’s premier youth driver awareness program RYDA to senior high school students, is urging all young drivers to drive safely during the holiday break.
“The moment your attention is not on the road you are putting yourself, your passengers and other road users at risk,” said Greg Rappo, RSE Program Director.
“Ultimately road safety is everyone’s issue and everyone’s responsibility.
“Drivers should prepare for the school holiday break, plan their trips, take regular breaks from driving – fifteen minutes at least every two hours, and exercise patience.
“Stay relaxed and try not to let other people’s driving skills or decisions worry you – if another driver makes a mistake don’t get angry just concentrate on your own driving skills, behaviour and safety,” he added.
RSE also remind young drivers to check traffic conditions before setting off on a trip in case of weather events or road works.
As a major cause of driver inattention, people are also being reminded not to use mobile phones while operating a vehicle.
“If you must use your phone, pull over safely before you touch it…nothing is more important than your life or the lives of other motorists,” Mr Rappo said.
He also noted speeding is unquestionably recognised as a major contributing factor to the number and severity of traffic crashes.
When a vehicle’s speed increases, it impacts on the drivers reaction time to a hazard and the need to adequately judge the distance required to stop.
“The average time it takes for most drivers to react to a risky situation on the road is 1.5 seconds.
“A fatigued or distracted driver (i.e. using a mobile phone) may take as long as three critical seconds to react” Mr Rappo said.
Travelling at lower speeds improves a driver’s ability to stop and avoid crashes.
“Our message is to enjoy the holidays and arrive back home safely.”
Road Safety Education Limited, a national not for profit organisation is committed to reducing trauma on our roads by educating young people in senior high school, through its flagship program RYDA.