Shire highway the best of the worst

By BELINDA SCOTT

BELLINGEN Shire has been identified as having the safest leg of the State's most dangerous road as New South Wales Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal urges holiday motorists to slow down.

With Coffs Harbour identified last week as the State's tenth most popular holiday destination, visitors are streaming into the area.

The notorious Pacific Highway has been identified by the RTA as the most dangerous of State roads, with 1904 crashes and 30 fatalities.

But the latest NSW Roads and Traffic crash statistics report showed the most dangerous sections of the Pacific Highway last year were at Ku-ring-gai, Newcastle, Wyong and Gosford.

Bellingen Shire recorded 14 Pacific Highway crashes.

Ku-ring-gai had 193.

The report showed the riskiest month for drivers was January, the riskiest day of the week was Friday and the worst time on Friday for accidents was 4pm to 6pm.

The safest time on the road in the last year was Tuesday between 2am and 4am.

Alcohol was a factor in every second fatal crash on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Most accidents occur when motorists are driving on a dry, straight road.

Distraction outside the vehicle was by far the most common factor listed as contributing to a crash.

Second and third were swerving to avoid an animal and distractions inside the vehicle.

No matter how good the roads are, drivers have proved adept at finding obstacles off the road to hit.

They have most often crashed into fences and posts, but trees, poles and embankments ranked second, third and fourth.

Trees proved the most dangerous obstacle, being a factor in 69 fatal accidents.

Sydney was the most dangerous place for drivers, recording 129 fatalities, versus 187 fatalities for non urban areas of the State.

Little Urana in the Riverina was the safest, with just five crashes.

The report showed speeding was a factor in 40 per cent of crashes and drivers aged 30 to 39 were the most-represented group in fatal crashes.



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