Australians spend a lot of time travelling on the roads. In 2018, the average vehicle within Australia travelled an incredible 13,301 km per year. However, road safety is a major issue facing Australian communities, with too many devastating injuries and fatalities occurring each year. In honour of National Road Safety Week, we have decided to share with you our top 12 interesting facts about road safety that you may or may not know.
1. The first use of the phrase “road safety”.
The earliest recorded use of the phrase “road safety” was in 1906 in a book by Henry C Pearson, titled ‘Rubber Tires and All About Them’.
2. What do tired drivers and drunk drivers have in common?
Drivers who have been awake for 17 hours pose the same amount of risk as they would if they had a blood alcohol content reading of 0.05 - wow!
3. Waving from a car window.
In 2019, close to $2 million in fines were issued in the past five years to drivers or passengers in Queensland and New South Wales alone under the protruding body part rule, which makes it illegal to wave out of a car window. No demerit points are taken away, however, the fine is $298 in both states - ouch!
4. What do you do if your vehicle skids?
Take your foot off the accelerator, look towards where you need to go, and gradually steer your vehicle in that direction.
5. No unnecessary honking!
It’s against the law Australia-wide to honk unnecessarily. In New South Wales, drivers can be fined up to $298.
6. Looking to purchase an older model car?
Only 10% of cars made in the year 2003 had a 5-star ANCAP safety rating. This is compared to cars sold within 2015-16, where 87% of these vehicles were given 5 stars for safety. Safety technology really evolved in those 12 years!
7. Turn your engine off for agitated horses
In Queensland, if a rider signals that their horse is agitated or jumpy then the passing driver must stop at the side of the road and turn their engine off. Who knew?
8. Australian drivers drive to Pluto twenty times annually.
The average Australian drives 14,000 kilometres each year in over 13 million vehicles, which equates to driving a combined 182 billion kilometres annually, which would get drivers to and from the planet Pluto twenty times.
9. What can happen in the two seconds you look at your phone.
Sound familiar? Here’s the thing; in that two-second time frame, if travelling at an approximate speed of 60 km/h, you will have travelled a whole 33m in distance whilst driving blind for that two seconds. So make sure to put your phone away...
10. The most expensive speeding ticket in the world (so far).
In 2010, an anonymous motorist was caught speeding through a small village in Sweden at 85 miles per hour in a 50mph zone. Because the motorist was a repeat offender and Swiss law states that higher penalties will be awarded to those who can afford to pay, the motorist was fined 290,000 Swiss francs, equalling about a whopping $300,000 Australian dollars.
11. What do road accidents within Australia have in common?
Road accidents within Australia share one common underlying factor; drivers veering lanes. Lane-keeping technologies, such as Toyota's Lane Tracing Assist, have helped greatly to minimise this risk and were shown to reduce all types of crashes by 11% (that is a massive 85, 000 crashes).
12. Australian drivers are a global minority.
Only 34% of the world’s countries, including Australia, drive on the left side of the road. This stems from being colonised by Britain, back when swordsmen would need their right hand closer to their opponent, and scabbard further away from them.
Hopefully, we have shared with you some interesting facts about road safety that you weren’t aware of (we certainly weren’t aware of what to do in the situation of an agitated horse on the road). If so, please share this article with your loved ones so we can all learn more about how to travel safely on the roads.
Take one step further and make your pledge to drive so others survive at roadsafetyweek.com.au from the 16th-23rd of May.
If you’re ever in the need of a vehicle with an abundance of safety features, contact the team here at Sunshine Toyota to find out our latest deals for new and pre-owned vehicles, on the lake at Currimundi. Safe travels!