• Hannah Phillips

Reducing Road Trauma this Winter

South Australia's Peak Motoring Body, RAA, is urging motorists to drive to the conditions this winter, and maintain their cars to help reduce road trauma.

The advice comes after 35 people were tragically killed on the state’s roads last winter, compared to 17 during winter in 2016.

According to RAA, winter also sees a spike in pedestrian crashes, rear end collisions and the number of animals hit, predominately on rural roads.

RAA Senior Manager Road Safety Charles Mountain encourages all motorists to drive with caution, as “dark, rainy or foggy weather conditions can be quite common at this time of year’’.

“Pedestrians and cyclists can be particularly harder to detect and wet roads mean it also takes a longer distance to stop,’’ he said.

Mr Mountain also had advice regarding animals on the road, saying: “Although it’s not a pleasant experience to hit an animal, don’t brake heavily or swerve to avoid striking an animal because this can be extremely dangerous as it can cause you to lose control of the car, or even hit an oncoming vehicle.’’

Vehicle maintenance is also of utmost importance, with Mr Mountain adding his advice for people on the roads.

"When the wet weather hits, your tyres become more important than ever, as they're your only contact with the road," he said.

“All tyres, including the spares, should be inflated to the correct pressure and have at least 2mm of tread.

“During winter, when daylight hours are at their shortest and weather conditions are at their worst, it’s also advisable for motorists to check that their headlights and other lights are working.

“Don’t rely on the auto-on function for headlights either, as there is some variability in their sensitivity to light or you might have de-activated it on a previous trip.

“If your windscreen wiper blades appear to be cracked, rigid or are unable to wipe the glass effectively, it’s time to replace them.

“They are normally relatively cheap and quite easy to replace.

"Don’t forget to check the reservoir bottle has a sufficient fluid level.’’

Please take care on our Australian roads all year long.