Staying safe on the road this long weekend

It has been six years since South Australia has had a fatality free October long weekend so with the long-awaited holiday weekend upon us the Motor Accident Commission is appealing to everyone to drive safely.

It has been six years since South Australia has had a fatality free October long weekend so with the long-awaited holiday weekend upon us the Motor Accident Commission is appealing to everyone to drive safely.

MAC General Manager of Road Safety, Michael Cornish, says there are some key things to keep in mind when driving over the next few days to ensure everyone enjoys the weekend but also arrive at their destinations safely.

"Fatigue is a serious road safety issue so drivers need to make sure they rest for at least 15 minutes every two hours," Michael says.

"Country driving also presents challenges including overtaking, giving heavy vehicles plenty of room and being aware of different speed zones and road conditions."

There was one fatality and 10 serious injuries on South Australian roads over the long weekend last year.  Since 2010, the October long weekend road toll has been either one or two fatalities.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to stay safe while travelling this long weekend is choosing to wear a seatbelt.

"Wearing a seatbelt can be the difference between life and death – for drivers and passengers," Michael Cornish says.

"Between 2010 and 2014, up to 26 per cent of people who died and 11 per cent of people who were seriously injured were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash."

 And with some welcome warm weather over the weekend, planning to not drink and drive should also be a priority for all road users.

 "Alcohol impairs a driver’s judgment and reaction time, contributing to approximately 22 per cent of all fatal crashes in 2014", Michael Cornish says.

"Road safety is a shared responsibility and achieving a fatality free long weekend requires everyone to work together. If we all play our part we can reduce the road toll and get home safety."

MAC has a range of useful country driving tips on our website: mac.sa.gov.au/campaigns/country-driving