Plan ahead this Australia Day

The Motor Accident Commission (MAC) is encouraging all motorists to plan ahead this Australia Day and make safe transport choices to and from your celebrations.

MAC Corporate Communications Manager, Megan Cree said the Australia Day public holiday is often spent with friends and family, having a few drinks while enjoying a BBQ, watching the cricket or attending one of the many public events and fireworks displays held around the state.

“However you choose to celebrate Australia Day, if it involves alcohol or drugs, just don’t drive.

“Ensuring you don’t drive under the influence should be a priority. Alcohol and drugs significantly impair a driver’s judgment, contributing to the cause of many fatal and serious injury crashes.

“Plan ahead, leave the car at home and enjoy your Australia Day by keeping it road trauma free,” said Ms Cree

Australia Day will also mark the start of a 4 day weekend for many as people head out of the city to make the most of the last few days of school holidays.

“Country and long distance driving increases opportunities to become fatigued or distracted and tempts many to travel over the speed limit to try and get to their destination quicker.

“Make sure you’re well rested, share the driving and take a break for at least 15 minutes every two hours – if you drive tired, you’re not only putting yourself at risk, you’re putting others at risk too,” said Ms Cree.

A record low total of 86 people died on SA roads in last year.

"We can acknowledge that 2016 was a good year, but we can't celebrate or become complacent as 86 people still died on our roads.

“Let’s keep 2017 as safe as possible - plan ahead, drive safely and stick to the road rules to ensure your Australia Day and weekend is road trauma free,” said Ms Cree.

MAC’s safe driving plea coincides with SAPOL’s Operation Australia Day 2017, targeting crowd and road safety, assisting with traffic flow and detecting dangerous drivers.

Background statistics

This year to date, three people have died on South Australian roads. This compares to six at this time in 2016 and nine at this time in 2015.

24% of drivers/riders killed in fatal crashes from July 2015 to June 2016 had an illegal BAC. This compares to 22% in 2015 and a 5 year average of 23%.

28% of drivers/riders killed in fatal crashes from July 2015 to June 2016 tested positive for drugs. This compares to 24% in 2015 and a 5 year average of 22%.

In 2016, at least 15 fatal crashes were likely to be due to fatigue. This compares to 10 crashes in 2015.