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Safe Road Users

We all have a part to play

Everyone who uses the road network is a road user, not just drivers of vehicles.

Safe road users include ensuring licensed drivers and motorcyclists, and addressing illegal behaviours like drink driving, speeding and mobile phone use. These are obvious.

Most of us think we’re responsible road users and for the most part, we do the right thing.

However, it’s the smaller acts of risk-taking driving behaviour (that we can all be guilty of from time to time) that lead to the most crashes on our roads.

A small moment of inattention, or a mistake when driving, riding, cycling, or walking can result in a serious road incident.

We accept that people make mistakes and that some crashes will always occur – but this doesn’t mean we have to accept death or serious injury on our roads.

While the Safe System builds an injury-tolerant road transport system, we must all use it responsibly.

SAFE ROAD USERS INCLUDE ENSURING LICENSED DRIVERS AND MOTORCYCLISTS, AND ADDRESSING ILLEGAL BEHAVIOURS LIKE DRINK DRIVING, SPEEDING AND MOBILE PHONE USE.

Driving Tired

Driving tired is a silent killer on WA roads – particularly in regional and remote areas.

87% of fatigue related crashes in WA occur on regional roads.

Distances travelled and long stretches of unchanging road make it easier to lose focus.

Effects of Fatigue

Fatigue slows reaction time, decision-making and alertness.

It can also lead to poor lane tracking and speed maintenance.

After being awake for 17-19 hours, your reaction time is equivalent to a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .05 – the legal limit.

After 24 hours awake, this increases to an equivalent of .10 BAC – or two times over the legal limit.

MALES REPRESENT ABOUT 77% OF DRIVERS JUDGED TO BE FATIGUED IN A CRASH. 47% OF FATIGUE-RELATED CRASHES OCCUR IN SPEED ZONES EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN 100KM/H.

Reducing Fatigue

If you’re starting to feel tired on a long journey, try these strategies:

  • Share the driving where possible
  • Take a break every two hours
  • Plan ahead and get at least 7 and a half hours sleep before you drive

Safety Measures

If you do drive tired, there are some roadside and vehicle measures designed to prevent you from veering out of your lane and off the road or into oncoming traffic.

Some cars are fitted with lane departure warnings to alert you if you drift.

New facial recognition software is also in trial to detect signs of fatigue in drivers.

Many long stretches of road are fitted with ‘audible edge-lines’ that make a noise and vibration if driven or ridden over.

Distractions

DRIVERS ARE 4 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO HAVE A CRASH IF THEY USE THEIR MOBILE PHONE WHILE DRIVING.

Tips to avoid distractions:

  • Turn off your mobile phone when driving
  • Adjust all vehicle controls before setting off
  • Take a break to eat, drink, smoke or groom yourself before driving
  • Set your GPS before starting the journey
  • Ask passengers to be quiet if you’re having difficulty concentrating while driving
  • Keep pets safe and properly restrained in the vehicle
  • Keep windscreens and mirrors clean and unobstructed
  • Reflect on your own driving behaviour to see what distracts you when you’re driving