Road Safety

The New Zealand road safety article contains information on safe driving on NZ roads, tips on traffic safety and advice on preventing road accidents in New Zealand.

Follow our top ten New Zealand road safety tips to make sure you drive safe when traveling. Safe driving can save lives and help to reduce the number of lives lost on our roads.

New Zealand road safety is a major concern: driving too fast, driving while drunk, falling asleep at the wheel and driving carelessly can all cause deaths on the road. These fatalities include not only drivers, but also passengers, motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists. In human terms, every fatality is a real person, a mother, father, sister or brother. Fatalities can be prevented with safe driving techniques. Make our roads safer by following our ten NZ road safety tips:

1. Stick To The Speed Limit

Speed kills more people than anything else on our roads. If you speed when driving, you’re more likely you are to cause death or serious injuries if you are involved in a crash. Speed is deadly because of the sudden stop caused by impact with another object; your internal organs continue to move forward at the speed you were going before the crash, meaning they’re crushed against your skeleton and severely damaged.

2. Catch A Taxi If You’ve Been Drinking

If you’ve had a few drinks, catch a taxi or get a lift from a sober friend. Alcohol (and some prescription drugs) can slow your reaction time and affect your ability to drive safely.

3. Snooze Before You Drive

Driver fatigue is one of the lesser known causes of road fatalities in New Zealand. For safe driving, avoid lengthy journeys without breaks and stop to take a nap if you feel tired or drowsy.

4. Keep Your Eyes On The Road

Many crashes are caused by driver inattention, so be aware at all times of potential hazards, the actions of other drivers, and any pedestrians or cyclists sharing the road space with you. Never talk or text on your mobile phone while driving and make sure your focus stays on the road, rather than on any distraction inside the car. As well as your immediate surrounds, look ahead to see any hazards further on so you have time to deal with any dangerous situations.

5. Make It Click

If you are wearing a safety belt when you crash, your chances of surviving are increased by 40%, so make sure your passengers in both the front and back seats are belted in at all times. This is a legal requirement in New Zealand.

6. Stay Left

When driving on the open road, it’s crucial to keep as far left on the road as you can. As a rule, the driver’s seat should be in the centre of your half of the road. Slow down for corners or curves in the road so that you can maintain this position and avoid collisions with oncoming traffic.

7. Pass With Care

Maintain a safe distance between your car and the vehicle you are passing: this should be at least two seconds’ distance. Take care when passing a cyclist, pedestrian or horse rider, and give them extra space. If you are traveling slowly and causing a back-up of traffic behind you, pull over so that traffic can pass. If you are being passed on the road, move as far left as you can and don’t increase your speed.

8. Look Before You Turn

Check your blind spot when turning or changing lanes, and be sure to give way to all oncoming vehicles. If there are other vehicles turning, you must give way to those coming from your right.

9. Drive For The Conditions

Take extra care when driving at night, in wet weather or in conditions where visibility is reduced. For good road safety, increase your following distance, be extremely careful and ensure that all lights on your vehicle are working.

10. Keep Your WOF Up-To-Date At All Times

Keep your car in a fit state by having regular maintenance checks for brakes, tyres and general running of your vehicle.