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Spike in NSW road toll

It’s not news that anyone wants to hear, but there has recently been a sharp rise in the New South Wales road toll, with 15 people killed over the course of two short weeks.

“With warmer weather across NSW, it seems some drivers are taking good driving conditions for granted, which is costing lives on our roads,” John Hartley, assistant commissioner of NSW’s Traffic and Highway Patrol Command told the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).

The recent fatalities bring the 2015 state road toll from January 1 to August 25 up to 227, with male drivers making up the majority of the statistics according to Transport for NSW. This comes at the same time as findings from the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), noting that almost half of all fatal collisions (45 per cent) are due to a single car.

Dangerous driving behaviours on our roads

“Speed, fatigue, drink or drug driving, failing to use controlled crossing areas, being unlicensed, not wearing helmets, using defective vehicles, are all key elements in these crashes, which are costing lives,” said Mr Hartley to the SMH, in light of the road toll spike.

Here in NSW, drunk driving is involved in a fifth of all fatal crashes, according to Transport for NSW’s Centre for Road Safety.

Transport for NSW warns that even if you don’t necessarily feel drunk, you could suffer the effects of intoxication. This is especially the case if you mix energy drinks with spirits, as the stimulating effect can mask the depressant nature of alcohol. The department notes that consuming energy drinks does not change your blood alcohol content.

All road users need to be aware

Riding a motorcycle can be especially dangerous after drinking – alcohol suppresses the cerebellum in our brain, responsible for co-ordination and balance, according to the Scientific American.

Motorcyclists account for just over 18 per cent of the road toll to date in NSW.

“Whilst police will continue to enforce road safety for the benefit of all road users, drivers, riders, cyclists, and pedestrians need to accept their role in keeping them, their passengers, and others safe on our roads,” said Mr Hartley.

In addition, while it is preferable that you walk rather than drive whilst ntoxicated, Transport for NSW reminds pedestrians that they are more vulnerable due to their impeded judgement and reaction time, especially at night when visibility is low. The 2015 road toll to date includes 43 pedestrians.

Whether you are a car driver, motorcyclist or another road user, you should always approach the road with caution, not only of the potential hazards around you, but also concerning your own ability to drive responsibly. If in doubt, always find an alternative method of transport.

The cost of CTP insurance is a function of the road toll and the number of people injured on our roads.  The cost of your CTP insurance will increase when you are the cause of motor vehicle accidents and injuries.

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