Head-on smashes top list

By kelly.makiha@dailypost.co.nz

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Loss of control and head-on smashes caused by drivers' poor handling are the main causes of fatal and serious injury crashes in Rotorua.
Loss of control and head-on smashes caused by drivers' poor handling are the main causes of fatal and serious injury crashes in Rotorua.

New data released about crashes on Rotorua roads shows loss of control and head-on smashes caused by drivers' poor handling are the main causes of fatal and serious injury crashes in Rotorua.

Figures released this week to the Rotorua Daily Post by the New Zealand Transport Agency to highlight Road Safety Week show the city was on the right track at the end of last year with a 26 per cent reduction in fatal and serious crashes in 2015 compared with the previous year.

In 2015, crashes were happening all over the district, with not one particular area, such as urban or local roads, being seen as a worse problem.

In terms of crash types, loss of control and head-on crashes on bends are the highest at 39 per cent of fatal and serious crashes, with most of the crashes happening on open roads.

Turning crashes are the second highest crash types at 17 per cent and loss of control and head-on crashes on straight sections of roads were third at 15 per cent.

The highest crash factor last year was poor handling, which accounted for 35 per cent of all fatal and serious crashes.

The second highest factor was poor observation at 29 per cent of all crashes and the third highest crash factor was travelling too fast for the conditions at 22 per cent.

New Zealand Transport Agency Bay of Plenty highways manager Niclas Johansson said that during the past year they had been working on several safety projects in the region, including installing safety barriers, widening sections of highway and installing new electronic curve warning signage to slow drivers.

"We have also invested millions into maintaining the highways and carrying out rockfall prevention work throughout the region.

"We are about to start work on the SH5/Hemo Rd roundabout in Rotorua, which will significantly improve safety at this high-risk intersection," Mr Johanson said.

"Later this year we also plan to start work on a $24 million roading package which will focus on Rotorua's eastern and central corridors with an upgrade to State Highway 30/Te Ngae Rd."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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