The Christmas/New Year holiday break has started – break out the champagne! But not if you’re driving.
Christmas/New Year is traditionally the most dangerous time to be driving, particularly in the popular ‘holiday spots’ – Northland, Bay of Plenty and Tasman. Hardly surprising. The population skyrockets in those locations as everyone escapes the cities for the sun, sand and relaxation. And they all drive there. They’re suddenly out of the 50km commuter crawl (good luck if you can even get up to 50km in Auckland) and race through unfamiliar roads at 100km+.
Last year 6 kiwis died in car crashes over the xmas/new year period, 70 were seriously injured and 283 had ‘minor’ injuries. The good news is, that’s the lowest fatality rate since records began in NZ in 1958/59 (the highest was 1972/73 with 37 road deaths).
Christmas Day is considered to be the highest risk. Speeding, drinking, unfamiliar roads, tiredness, or impatience and frustration with slow traffic – the perfect storm.
This year the Police have made it clear that their tolerance of speeding will be reduced to +4km only. That’s not much, and we’re not sure it’s the right answer – passing a dawdling 90km driver, when you’re limited to 104km, will mean you’re on the wrong side of the road for too long – that could be completely counter-productive and disastrous.
Whatever your plans this summer, beware, a car crash can happen to anyone anytime. You may not even be the at-fault party, so be alert, and keep an eye on other cars, and vans, trucks, motorcycles, and especially sleighs.
But if you get into a tangle over the summer holidays, Crash Management will be here to assist – 24/7 nationwide, ready to help with salvage, claims, assessing and repairs.
Drive safe and enjoy!