Educating Our Young Rural Drivers
Two thirds of the Australian population live in capital cities and metropolitan areas, but more than half of the road fatalities occur on rural and remote roads. The risk of sustaining a road crash injury increases with the degree of remoteness from metropolitan centres. Unfortunately rural road crashes are not decreasing at the same rate as urban trends.[i]
Some of the characteristics and factors associated with rural road crashes are:
- Generally higher travel speeds
- Longer travelling distances
- More varied road environment and lower quality road conditions
- More varied vehicle population (heavy, agricultural & mining vehicles)
- Unique hazards such as livestock
- Risk of fatigue not only from distance but from the monotony of the sparse roadside environment
- The involvement of alcohol increases with the remoteness
RSE understands that not all students have access to their RYDA programs, therefore throughout the year special RYDA programs are run for schools outside of the major cities. In the first half of this year PBF has been involved in the ‘After the Crash’ section of the program in Nuriootpa (Barossa District of SA), Gympie (Qld) and Kingaroy (Qld).
The outcomes of the RYDA Program applies to both city and country novice drivers:
- Understand the road risks and reflect on long-term life consequences of a crash
- Identify crash factors and realise how they are preventable
- Appreciate how personal factors affect risk
- Develop personal strategies and plans and consider self-monitoring of actions long term
- See driving as a social responsibility and recognise the protective measures
It is vital that all young Australian drivers realise that getting behind the wheel of a car is one of the most dangerous things they can do. By changing the way they think about road safety, we are helping to bring them home safely.
If you would like to find out more about the RYDA programs in your area you can do so here.
[i] CARRSQ fact sheet– Rural & Remote Road Safety (www.carrsq.qut.edu.au)