Most overseas drivers crash for the same reasons as New Zealand drivers. There are usually multiple factors that contribute to a crash.
During 2014–18, the most common factors for at-fault drivers in crashes were:
- driver lost control: overseas drivers (23 percent), NZ drivers (16 percent)
- failed to give way or stop: overseas drivers (20 percent), NZ drivers (14 percent)
- did not see another party: overseas drivers (12 percent), NZ drivers (12 percent)
- inattention or distraction: overseas drivers (13 percent), NZ drivers (13 percent).
Over a fifth (22 percent) of at-fault overseas drivers failed to adjust to New Zealand rules or conditions. ‘Failing to adjust’ includes such things as driving on the wrong side of the road and not understanding give way rules.
Between 2013–17 and 2014–18, there has been a decrease in the percentage of overseas and New Zealand drivers involved in a crash who failed to keep left. For fatal crashes the percentage that failed to keep left is 27 percent for overseas licence holders (compared to 33 percent for the previous five-year period) and 16 percent of New Zealand drivers (compared to 21 percent for the previous five-year period).
There can be many reasons for being on the wrong side of the road including careless overtaking, inattention and fatigue.
The number of New Zealand at-fault drivers in crashes who fail to keep left is about 17 times the number of overseas licence holders who fail to keep left.