A new study conducted by the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) has found that road users not only display irresponsible behaviour on the roads, but there are plenty who also allow it to happen.
The research shows that 49 per cent of Australians do not ask speeding friends or family members to slow down, as they believe it isn’t their place to caution another driver.
Meanwhile, 46 per cent of people don’t tell texting uber, taxi or personal drivers to put their phone away.
When asked why, 18 per cent of passengers say it’s because they’re too afraid, while another 18 per cent claim they just “can’t be bothered”.
Founder and CEO of the ARSF, Russell White, said reducing the road toll has to stem from peer pressure and not from authorities dictating road rules.
“We need to create a culture where we call each other out on bad behaviour behind the wheel, instead of shuffling the responsibility onto others,” he said.
“That’s what our Fatality Free Friday initiative is all about; educating road users on the individual role they play in reducing the devastating impact of road crashes.”
“Obviously nobody goes out looking to be in a road crash, but not everyone goes out deliberately looking to avoid one either, and that is evident every time someone speeds, takes a risk on the road, or uses their mobile phone,” he added.
The study also found around 58 per cent of drivers narrowly avoid a collision at least once a month, while 18 per cent experience close calls on a weekly basis.
More than a quarter (27 per cent) of drivers aged 25 and under have a near miss at least weekly – which is more than double that of drivers aged over 55.
White added that Fridays continue to be one of the deadliest days of the week on Australian roads, accounting for 214 fatalities in 2016 – 16 per cent of last year’s road toll.
The ARSF’s data comes a month ahead of Fatality Free Friday, Australia’s largest community-based road safety initiative, which this year falls on the 26th of May.
“We urge every motorist, passenger, cyclist and pedestrian to pledge their support for Fatality Free Friday, because every decision made on or around the road can be the difference between life and death,” said White.
Just two of the 53 Fridays in 2016 were fatality free – February 5 and June 24.
For more information on the initiative, head to www.fatalityfreefriday.com.au
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