20 December 2018
The AA wants drivers to give themselves the gift of time to stay safe on the roads these holidays.
“Every driver at some point is going to have something unexpected happen on the road in front of them and, when it does,
every extra second you have to react will be crucial,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.
“The less time you give yourself to react the less room for error there is. With millions of New Zealanders about to
head out on the roads over the summer break, we know that people will make errors sometimes but we don’t want those to
end up in crashes.”
The key things drivers can do to give themselves a good buffer of time are:
• Give yourself more following distance – as least 2-seconds in good conditions
• Drive at a safe speed for the conditions
• Pay full attention. Any time you are focussed on your phone or other distractions it will take you longer to react as
• Stay fresh and alert. Take regular breaks and don’t drive tired.
• Look well ahead to anticipate what’s coming up, not just at the car in front of you
• Expect trips to take longer so you don’t end up frustrated and rushing
“We all know this is the highest risk time on the roads so it makes sense to take some extra care.
“Even if you are doing everything right, you want to give yourself time to react if someone else gets it wrong.
“A bit of extra time can make the difference between a near-miss with no long-term consequences or a crash that could
change someone’s life.”
Check your vehicle
The AA has some other tips for people to give themselves more time to enjoy the break and less time sitting in traffic
or dealing with a breakdown.
Make sure your car is road trip ready. Check the lights and indicators are all working, clean your windscreens and have
your wiper blades in good shape and check your coolant and oil levels.
Four vital but often overlooked things to check on your vehicle are the tyres. Make sure they have adequate tread on
them (at least 1.5mm is the legal minimum) and also that they are inflated to the right pressure – including the spare.
Be smart around congestion
It’s an inescapable fact that the roads will be heavy with holiday traffic but there are some ways that you can try to
work around it.
• Check the traffic levels online before driving and if the roads are jammed consider a different route or time
• Leave earlier or later if possible rather than travelling in the peak of the day
• Make your time in the car comfortable. Come prepared with snacks, drinks and distractions for the kids.
The AA wants everyone to stay safe and have an enjoyable time driving these holidays.