Remain vigilant on local roads

The number of deaths on WA roads in 2013 was 163, on top of the 206 critical injuries also recorded throughout the year.

More than one-third of all fatal crashes occurred on weekends.

Police and Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey said that while the drop in number of fatalities was a positive sign, there was no room for complacency.

‘The lowest was in 2005 and the following year was a very bad one on the roads, so my message is that we need to remain vigilant about road safety,’ Ms Harvey said.

‘We must always remember that while we talk about road deaths and serious injuries in terms of numbers, the reality is that these are people who have families who are left to deal with pain and suffering.

‘My new year’s resolution for all West Australians is to look out for yourselves and for friends and family when it comes to getting behind the wheel.’

A fresh study by the RAC using its Attention Powered Car has revealed just how much of an impact social media is having on young drivers.

‘Facebook had a big impact on the attention level of the five drivers tested ” recording a 43 per cent drop in attention levels, on average,’ RAC executive general manager Pat Walker said.

‘This is very concerning when you consider the recent RAC Young Driver Survey revealed 20 per cent of young drivers check social media while behind the wheel.’

Noisy and playful passengers also contributed to driver inattention. Silent passengers and those providing positive driver feedback improved attention levels.