Simple errors

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) has just revealed new data that shows “errors” have played a significant role in road deaths since 2017

Below are some extracts from the TAC website media release and my thoughts coming from working in the industry first hand since 2016.

“Victorians are being urged to avoid complacency on the roads”.

There has always been a level of complacency because there isn’t a stringent system for acquiring and maintaining our privilege to use our roads.

“…in 2020 alone, 146 (71 percent) road deaths involved a basic error, as opposed to high-risk behaviours such as speeding, drink-driving, and drug-driving.”

This doesn’t surprise me and is something I have been discussing for years, a change in focus because speed, alcohol, and drugs are not the only issue.

“Victorians are being reminded that even the best drivers can be a split second away from the unthinkable happening.”

I agree, but collisions can be avoidable if road users maintain a high awareness of their surroundings.

“…we’re seeing busier roads on the weekends, it is critical that people are vigilant, obey all our road rules and play their part in keeping the roads safe.”

Some road users are not updated or do not understand the road rules and how to operate around them in the best way possible.

“There is a common misconception that it’s people that take risks who are involved in fatal crashes – it’s not, anyone can be involved in an accident regardless of their experience on our roads.” – Ben Carroll MP

Yes, anyone can be involved, but coming from teaching hundreds of people to drive since 2016, we have seen and been a part of many avoidable crashes. We can do more to create avoidance, shifting our reactive focus from speeding, alcohol, drugs and post-crash care, to a more proactive approach.

When will driver education and accountability become the true foundation of eliminating road trauma?

With this new set of data and an abundance of knowledge and first hand experience, I can safely say that driver education and accountability is, and has always been, the key to reducing road trauma.  

Courtenay Rufus
Director and Driving Educator
CRUDE Ultimate Driving Education

You can read the full TAC media release here:

Download the PDF version of this commentary here:

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