"Car crashes, they won't happen to me, I'm a safe driver".
How many times have we thought that? Sometimes we drive past a crash and see the horrible aftermath of what's happened.
Our local police, fire service and ambulance officers are dealing with crashes regularly and these become a near-daily occurrence. Sometimes we even have to attend several crashes in a day.
For the month of August, Whanganui Police attended and investigated 36 crashes, 28 of these were in the city centre and the remaining eight were on rural roads or on the highways.
All of these crashes could have been prevented by a bit more attention and care from the drivers.
In at least three of the crashes the driver was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
Three of the crashes occurred on the City Bridge and ranged from someone failing to stop in time, to a broken down vehicle being pushed off the bridge with the driver unable to keep control as the car came off the bridge.
Drivers need to take care on this stretch of road, it is a four-lane stretch with motorists having to stay within their lanes while turning.
It is not a little drag racing strip and drivers should be considerate to allow safe lane changes.
Two of the crashes that were attended in August happened on the gravel road at Landguard Bluff and this is a reminder for people to drive to the conditions of the road surface, if the road is wet, icy, gravel, grass or affected in any way a vehicle can very easily have limited traction and loss of control occurs.
Although most of the crashes were relatively minor unfortunately from two of these crashes someone has died as a result of the injuries that they sustained.
Crashes have a significant effect on the people involved and these effects can be financial, the inconvenience, serious injury, court proceedings, convictions and the related emotional impact.
In September police will be focussing on drivers being distracted, this can be in a variety of different ways but the most obvious is by using cellphones.
As we all know it is an offence to use your phone while driving and this includes sitting stationary at lights. There are obvious reasons for this and primarily you cannot drive safely and be using your phone.
Please be careful when driving and if you witness or are aware of poor driving behaviour call Police on *555.
*Damon Evans is a Sergeant with Whanganui Police