Road Safety

Holiday Road safety:

You should take extra care when travelling on New Zealand’s roads during the holidays, as there can be more traffic, unfamiliar environments, holiday stresses, and longer drives adding to tiredness and distraction. Use the following hints to take extra care when driving during the semester breaks:

  • Before your road trip, check your tyre pressure, lights, water, and oil, and that your vehicle’s Warrant of Fitness is up to date.
  • Always ensure that you and your passengers travel with your safety belts fastened, they reduce the risk of being killed or seriously injured in a road crash by 40%.
  • If you are planning a long journey, factor in regular breaks (this can also be a great opportunity for sightseeing and photo opportunities during your trip!)
  • Always drive to the conditions, whether it be weather, road works, speed limits, or your vehicle load.
  • Keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you in case they come to a sudden stop.
  • Don’t drink and drive.

New to New Zealand roads?

New Zealand roads can be very different to international roads, especially when you get out to rural areas for summer camping, festivals, and beach trips. Here are some hints for driving on the roads of Aotearoa:

  • We drive on the left-hand side here, which may seem obvious! But can take some getting used to if you learn to drive on the right-hand side of the road.
  • Some roads can be very windy and have loose gravel. Take your time on these roads and don’t feel rushed by the cars behind you.
  • Slow down approaching one lane bridges even if you think you have the right of way.
  • In rural areas road users could be sheep, cows, horses, cyclists, and walkers! Keep an eye out for them, slow down, and give them space when passing.
  • Factor extra travel time so you can take your time navigating unfamiliar roads without feeling rushed.
  • DriveSafeNZ offers road safety information in a range of languages.
  • Drinking and Driving in New Zealand is a criminal conviction

E-scooter summer safety:

E-scooters have swiftly become the wheels of choice for university students in the city. However, they are also flooding the headlines with concerns over their dangers. Not so fun fact; there are over 2100 e-scooter and 1300 E-bike ACC accident claims within the past 9 months. Most of which happened in summer. So, whether you're cruising on your own E-scooter, or a hired Jump or Lime, here's a guide to keeping things smooth and safe for yourself and others in your community.

  1. Prioritize Safety Gear: Although helmets are not legally required, they are highly recommended because they significantly reduce chance of permanent head injury if you have an accident.
  2. Share the footpath: Always ride in a safe and considerate manner, including giving way to pedestrians and mobility devices. If renting an E-scooter, make sure you park it as far to the edge of footpath as possible so there is enough space for wheelchair and mobility users to use the path.
  3. Slow it down: Ride at a safe speed that does not pose a hazard to yourself or others. Be aware that cyclists, other road users and pedestrians may not hear you approaching.
  4. Don’t double up: E-scooters are designed for one rider, having more than one person on a E-scooter can pose an issue with balance and lead to more accidents. Additionally, it makes the scooter much slower! So, if you want to split the cost of a ride, take a Uber or Taxi instead.
  5. Don’t drink and drive! It may seem obvious, but please don’t put your life in danger by drinking and driving.

Don’t drink and drive.

Alcohol is a leading cause of road deaths and accidents in New Zealand; in Auckland alone, there were 611 death and serious injury driving accidents related to alcohol between 2017-2021. If you are caught drink driving you can face a criminal record, fine, or losing your license. If you are drinking, plan a ride home as it is not worth the risk. Find out more information on drinking and driving in New Zealand here.