Crashes as a result of driver distraction can lead to deaths, as well as serious life threatening injuries. These can include hospitalisation, rehabilitation and sometimes a lifetime of care.
Auckland is now a Vision Zero region, which means Auckland Transport is committed to a goal of no deaths or serious injuries on Tamaki Makaurau roads by 2050. This means as people, we all make mistakes, but a mistake should not cost a life or cause serious injury on our roads.
The number of distracted drivers is increasing with more people using smart phones while driving, in car entertainment/electronics, as well as other distractions such as looking at something on the side of the road, eating food, drinking a coffee, chatting to passengers, or by people being emotionally upset. These distractions can cause drivers to take their eyes off the road, their hands off the steering wheel and their minds on something else other than concentrating on driving. A distraction for more than a second can significantly increase the likelihood of a crash or near crash.
However, whilst phones and cars may be getting ‘smarter', the human response often remains not so smart. We need to focus the driver on the danger of engaging with a mobile phone and provide a safer way of driving by setting up their mobile before driving. This ‘behaviour change’ is similar to putting a seat belt on before driving. Therefore, we want people to set up their phone (or their in-car devices) before setting off (this may be GPS navigation or Spotify playlist for example) and then put their phone on ‘do not disturb’
Have a ‘mobile moment’ before you set off
Drive focussed, arrive safe
Auckland regional all attention/distracted crash statistics 2015 - 2019 (NZ Transport Agency statistics)
In the Auckland region between 2015-2019, there were *247 serious injuries to drivers who had their attention diverted, as well as 16 deaths.
AT is supporting NZ Police at checkpoints and targeted events to engage with drivers, raise awareness and promote safe road user behaviour.
*NZTA Crash Analysis System (CAS) Data
Handy information and advice on driver distraction
Reduce the risk and just put your phone away while driving and do not answer calls or texts.
- NZTA website: Road to Zero 2020 – 2030: https://www.transport.govt.nz/area-of-interest/safety/road-to-zero/
- NZ Transport Agency campaign resources: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/safety/what-waka-kotahi-is-doing/our-advertising/current-advertising-campaigns/
- AT Vision Zero: https://at.govt.nz/projects-roadworks/vision-zero-for-the-greater-good/vision-zero-in-action/