Reducing loss of life on rural roads
Calls for rural motorists to change driving behaviours
WITH reports that two thirds of road deaths have occurred on regional roads, the Australian Road Safety Foundation is calling on everyday road users to jump in the driver seat of rural road safety.
Despite making up only 16.5 per cent of the nation’s population, regional road deaths account for a staggering two in every three deaths across the nation.
To support the inaugural Rural Road Safety Week the ARSF commissioned new research that revealed that both regional and metro drivers changed their driving behaviour when on rural roads.
In fact, according to the data, one in three Australians were more likely to break a road rule when driving on rural roads, compared to city or suburban streets.
Russell White, CEO and founder of ARSF urged Australians – both regional and city-based – to take ownership for their role in reducing the rural road toll.
“While there are a number of factors that contribute to the regional road toll, it’s everyday Australians that hold the key to safer roads” Mr White said.
“The research has told us that the main reason drivers are taking more risks on rural roads is because they’re less likely to get caught.
“We will continue to see this significant and unnecessary loss of life on regional roads, until we make the effort to shift this mentality so that we’re driving with safety front of mind.”
The ARSF research also highlighted key differences in attitudes and behaviours between rural and city drivers.
According to the data, regional drivers were more likely to engage in dangerous behaviour including driving under the influence of drugs, driving fatigued, not wearing a seatbelt and speeding.
In fact, when it came to committing key road safety risks – metro drivers only scored worse than their country counterparts when it came to driving distracted.
However, the research also showed that it was regional road drivers who also recognised that a shift in attitudes and behaviours would have the biggest impact on the road toll.
“Acknowledging that everyday road users have a personal responsibility is the first step,” he said.
The ARSF research was conducted by a third-party research company, Pure Profile, and was an online survey of more than 1000 licensed Australians, nationally represented by gender, age and location.
WE WILL CONTINUE TO SEE THIS SIGNIFICANT AND UNNECESSARY LOSS OF LIFE ON REGIONAL ROADS, UNTIL WE MAKE THE EFFORT TO SHIFT THIS MENTALITY SO THAT WE’RE DRIVING WITH SAFETY FRONT OF MIND. RUSSELL WHITE, CEO AND FOUNDER OF ARSF
COUNTNG THE COST: ARSF founder and CEO Russell White.