Drive Safe 2021: Common Causes Of Road Accidents in New Zealand

Date Jan 4, 2021
Blog category Car Insurance
By Tina M.

A total of 320 road accidents in New Zealand was reported in 2020, according to The Ministry of Transport. The number was noted to be considerably lower than those recorded in the past years, given the lockdown and travel restrictions due to COVID. These crashes and deaths could have been prevented with proper precaution. 

The Ministry of Transport released its annual toll that is said to be “heartbreaking” as these road crashes were caused mainly by speeding and the influence of alcohol on the drivers.

"We saw far too many tragic crashes last year and it's time we agreed that deaths or serious injuries on our roads are no longer acceptable," said the mobility and safety manager Helen White.

While fewer cases were reported in 2020, the number of deaths and injured were still too many according to officials. 

The police attended to different road accidents during the holidays where eight people died and several others injured. 

Read about it here: Holiday road toll: Eight dead in crashes so far this Christmas-New Year period

"There is nothing new in the circumstances of these crash deaths. Many have inattention, speed, and alcohol as contributing factors,” shared the NZ Transport Agency’s general manager safety, health and environment Greg Lazzaro.


It’s a golden rule among drivers to stay alert behind the wheel while on the road. Phones are a major distraction to drivers, and are advised to have their phones on “do not disturb” mode or park somewhere safe where they can use their gadgets. Likewise, the Ministry of Transport spearheaded by Helen White are considering imposing reasonable penalties for distracted driving offences to improve road safety in all NZ roads. 


A recent car crash that happened on Christmas eve had killed two individuals after passing Clevedon-Kawakawa Road where officers suspected speed to be a factor which caused the inevitable crashing of the car onto a pole. 

It was also last year that road police in NZ removed their speed buffer on roads to monitor all types of vehicles the minute they exceed the speed limit as confirmed by national road policing manager Acting Superintendent Gini Welch. This means minor speeding can be fined when caught. 

“If you travel above the posted speed limit, you can expect to be stopped and subjected to intervention such as engagement, education and enforcement,” said Welch.

The maximum speed allowed in highways is 90 km/h for heavy vehicles and up to 100 km/h for light or average cars. 

Read more about it here: Zero tolerance on speeding drivers all year round as cops get tough on motorists

Driving under the influence

Around 1,600 people have been seriously injured and killed since 2016 because of drunk driving. Amid the death toll and several road accidents, many Kiwis continue to ignore the consequences. 

As the holidays started, Counties Manukau Police in South Auckland commenced their Christmas road safety operation where they checked around 21,000 vehicles at their alcohol checkpoints and caught 121 suspected drunk drivers three weeks leading to Christmas Eve. They consider this “disappointing” given the fact that there is still COVID.

“If you are drinking, make sure you plan ahead and have an alternative way to get home safely, whether it be a designated driver, taxi or other ride-share service,” said Manukau Police Senior Sergeant Jono Chappell. 

Car defects

There hasn’t been much reports about road accidents caused by defective vehicles, but it could be a major threat when unnoticed.

Recently, a buyer was refunded $14,000 for his auto after Ford Auckland mistakenly handed over a defective car. The car owner saw issues upon using the vehicle which includes bald tyres, a faulty reverse camera, and white smoke from the exhaust system. 

All these issues can cause road accidents later when ignored. Car insurance companies are offering comprehensive and third-party coverage in case of damage or injury to the driver himself, his car and to a third-person. That’s why Kiwis are keen to find the best car insurance plans in New Zealand.

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