Don’t become a festive season statistic, warns the Insurance Commission
19 December 2019
The Insurance Commission, the State’s motor injury insurer, is reminding drivers to take extra care on the roads over the holiday period.
Its data* shows that, in the last five years, a crash over Christmas and New Year ruined the festivities for 1,113 families across WA – 24, tragically, involving a fatality – with 313 serious injury claims lodged with the Insurance Commission.
Christmas Eve was the worst day for accidents during the festive season with 29 crashes reported on average, followed by 27 December (25) and New Year’s Eve (24). The fewest crashes occurred on New Year’s Day (19), then Christmas Day and 29 December (both 20).
Kane Blackman, Acting Chief Executive at the Insurance Commission, says: “Some people may be in a hurry to get away at this time of year or think that a crash won’t happen to them. However, people have car accidents year round, so please stay focused behind the wheel.
"All road users should slow down, belt up and be mindful of the ‘Three Ds’ that cause most crashes, which are Drowsy, Distracted and Drink driving."
To encourage safe driving over the holiday period, double demerits on a range of motoring offences will apply from Friday, 20 December 2019 to Sunday, 5 January 2020 inclusive.
Beware the ‘Three Ds’ – road safety advice
Driver fatigue can be a bigger issue over the festive period as some drivers spend longer behind the wheel than they are used to. Break up any journey over three hours and stop every two hours thereafter, and share the driving, if possible.
Increasingly, driver distraction and inattention is a factor in road accidents with mobile phones just one of the components for driver distraction.
Switch off your phone or, if it supports it, put it in ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode. And, if you’re travelling with kids, pack plenty to keep them entertained.
Pack the car safely and securely being careful not to overload or obstruct vision.
Drink and drug driving
Alcohol affects people differently, so if you drive, don’t drink, and if you drink, don’t drive. The same applies to driving under the influence of drugs.
Be mindful of the ‘morning-after effect’ too, as you could still be over the limit in the morning following a heavy night.
The WA Police Force will be targeting impaired driving throughout the festive season.
* View the crash and injury insurance claim data