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Loss of control and intersections crashes main causes of
road trauma in Canterbury

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Loss of control, head-on and intersection crashes were the three major causes of death and injuries on roads in the Canterbury region over the last five years.

Loss of control, head-on and intersection crashes were the three major causes of death and injuries on roads in the Canterbury region over the last five years.

Figures released by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) for the period from 2004 to 2008 show there were 6,940 injury crashes in the Canterbury region including 203 fatal crashes and 1396 serious injury crashes. Last year 48 people died on the regions roads and 354 were seriously injured. This compares to 56 fatalities and 382 people seriously injured in 2007.

NZTA Canterbury Regional Director Mark Yaxley says loss of control on bends or head-on crashes have claimed 91 lives in the Canterbury region over the last five years. Once a driver loses control of their vehicle on rural Canterbury roads more often than not their vehicle hits roadside hazards such as ditches, trees, banks or fences.

“Hitting these can turn a relatively minor off-road mishap into a serious crash with more severe consequences for the driver and anyone else in the vehicle. Over 70 percent of at fault drivers involved in loss of control or head-on crashes in the Canterbury region in the last five years were males. Almost 50 percent of the crashes were caused by excessive speed for the conditions”.

Intersections crashes were the other major cause of fatal and serious injury road crashes in the Canterbury region in the past five years with 2,551 injury crashes within Christchurch city. These claimed 29 lives and resulted in 477 people being seriously injured. Failure to stop and give way and poor observation skills by drivers were the two leading causes of these crashes.

Mr Yaxley says more Canterbury drivers need to take on board the “Intersections worth another look” slogan that features in the NZTA’s intersection safety awareness advertising campaigns. The intersection crash figures for Canterbury demonstrate too many drivers are getting it wrong at intersections. This situation could be improved by motorists being patient and avoiding taking unnecessary risks at intersections.

Road safety issues reports for all local authorities in the Canterbury region are available at
http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/performance/index.html(external link)

For more information please contact:

Bob Nettleton
Regional Communications Advisor
T DDI 03 951 3005   
M  021 954 928   
E-mail bob.nettleton@nzta.govt.nz

Al Stewart
Canterbury Road Policing Manager
T DDI 03 363 7417
E-mail george.stewart@police.govt.nz

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