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Road safety

Auckland Transport is committed to working with the community, in partnership with national agencies, to improve road safety and reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads.

The most recent road safety statistics from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), reported 2556 injury crashes and 8130 non-injury crashes in the Auckland Region in 2008. Alcohol, night-time crashes, vulnerable road users and intersections being the leading road safety issues.

New initiatives and programmes are introduced every year aimed at protecting our most vulnerable road users. These include setting up school speed zones and adding cycle lanes to busy roads. However, it is up to all road users to observe the road rules and take care on the roads to help keep everyone safe.

Community road safety funding

Find out about funding for community road safety projects

Distractions

Driver distraction results in many serious crashes each year.

Intersections

Taking risks at intersections can result in serious injury and even death.

Drink driving

Help reduce alcohol-related accidents on our roads. 

Speeding

Speed is the single biggest road safety issue in NZ today. The faster you drive on the road, the more likely you are to crash. 

Road safety around schools

Increased driver awareness of the presence of children around schools helps reduce the risk of accidents. 

Young drivers

Auckland Transport is committed to reducing the number of crashes involving young drivers.

Older drivers

Reduced reaction times and joint flexibility can mean older drivers are at greater risk of accidents and injury.

Seat belts

Wearing a seat belt reduces your chance of death or serious injury in a crash.

Child safety in cars

Using a correctly-fitted and -sized child restraint will reduce your child’s risk of injury or death in the event of a crash.

Motorcycle safety

Motorcycle safety is a priority for making our roads safer.

Cycle safety

Working hard to eliminate the number of cyclists killed on Auckland roads each year.

Pedestrian safety

Pedestrians are vulnerable on our roads. Pedestrians and motorists have a shared responsibility to keep our roads safe.

Road rules

Road rules are developed and reviewed annually and have implications for all road users.

Road Safety Week

Auckland Transport and Brake are working together to raise awareness of road safety and active transport during Road Safety Week.


Major road safety issues in Auckland


A mock crash is staged for road safety awareness.

Alcohol

Alcohol significantly impairs our ability to drive. Studies have shown that the risk of being involved in an accident increases greatly as blood alcohol levels rise. You are sixteen times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash when driving over the legal limit. 

There were 443 alcohol related injury crashes in 2008 and alcohol was a factor in 26 per cent of fatal and serious crashes in the Auckland Region between 2004 and 2008. 

Get more information about the risks associated with drink-driving.

Night-time crashes

Driving at night is the most difficult time for driving, as vision becomes restricted and colour and contrast is lost, increasing the risk of accidents.

In 2008, 870 injury crashes occurred at night time and most common were due to loss of control on bends. In the period 2004 to 2008, 36 per cent of night-time injury crashes involved alcohol and 23 per cent were speed related.

Vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists)

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are more susceptible to severe injury in a crash because of their relative lack of protection. 

Pedestrians are most likely to be involved in a crash when they are crossing the road away from an intersection. 

For cyclists, the most common type of crash is when they are crossing a road, turning, or being over taken. Motorcyclists are most likely to be involved in a crash if they lose control, are turning, or in a rear-end collision. 

Between 2004 and 2008, there were 318 pedestrian, 200 cycle and 253 motorcycle injury accidents. Nearly half of all pedestrian and cycle accidents were at intersections with 15 per cent of motorcycle accidents occurring in the wet.

Vulnerable road user types:

Intersections

During the period 2004 to 2008 there were a total of 27,558 crashes at intersections in the Auckland region. The most common scenario is where a driver turns right at an intersection and is hit by a vehicle approaching from the right. The main causes were failing to stop and give way, not checking properly and general errors of judgement.

Get more information on safety at intersections.

For more Auckland road safety statistics, visit the New Zealand Transport Agency.


Key tips for driving safely on the road

Drive to the conditions: When driving you need to judge the safe speed needed for the stretch of road you're on at that particular time. If you don't adjust your speed to suit the conditions, you may be driving too fast, even if you're within the speed limit.  

Drive to the weather conditions: Rain quickly reduces tyre grip and excess water on the road can spell disaster. Wind gusts can side-swipe you unexpectedly, while sun glare can blind you. Weather conditions can change quickly.

If the weather is changeable, use your headlights, window-wipers, demisters and sun visors before you need them. Drive responsibly and reduce your speed. 

Drive to the traffic conditions: During rush hour, holidays or special events when there is more traffic going at a slower pace, go with the flow, do not take unnecessary risks overtaking, and keep a safe following distance.  

The speed limit is not the safe option – slow down. Allow more time to reach your destination, travel earlier or later than the peak times, or take an alternative route.  

Keep within the speed limit: Drivers who travel above the speed limit endanger the lives of others. We've all heard the saying 'Speed kills' too many times. Higher speeds result in injuries that are more severe.

Look for hazard cues: Safe driving involves looking for important hazard cues. The faster you travel on a road, the more likely you are to miss these. And if you're speeding, you'll travel further before you react and apply the brakes. When you have applied the brakes, you'll travel further before you stop.

At faster speeds there's a greater chance that other road users will misjudge how fast you're travelling.

Be prepared for the unexpected: The Auckland road network consists of state highways, motorways, rural gravel roads and urban through roads, and provides plenty of opportunity for the unexpected to happen. Pedestrians stepping out to cross the road, cyclists, vehicles pulling out from side roads, livestock, tractors and road works can all catch drivers unaware. Stay alert and slow down so you have time to react safely if the unexpected happens.


How does speed affect road safety?

The faster you drive on the road, the more likely you are to crash. As your speed increases:

  • The distance you need in order to stop increases
  • There is a greater probability that you will be going too fast if you meet an unexpected change in road conditions
  • There is a greater chance that other road users will misjudge how fast you are travelling.

The severity of injuries resulting from a crash is directly related to the impact speed of the vehicle - whether or not speeding was a factor in the crash. 


What happens when a speeding vehicle crashes?

When a vehicle crashes, it undergoes a rapid change of speed. However, the occupants keep moving at the vehicle's previous speed until they are stopped - either by hitting an object or by being restrained by a safety belt or airbag. 

Human bodies are not designed to be hurled against objects at speed, and the faster the speed, the more severe the injuries.