Residents are being urged to take care during the holiday period to ensure they reach their destinations safely.
The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) reports that while the state’s overall road death toll is down 14.2 per cent from last year, the number of deaths on rural Victorian roads has not followed the downward trend, and instead remains steady.
Victorians are four times more likely to be killed on country roads because the speeds are higher than on metropolitan roads. Almost one quarter of serious injuries on the state’s roads occur on rural roads, mainly due to drivers running off the road or hitting other vehicles head on.
VicRoads acting northern regional director Brian Westley said it’s important that people pay attention to what they are doing on the roads during the busy holiday period and also be more vigilant to what other drivers are doing.
‘‘People are very distracted at this time of year and we want to ensure that everybody using the road network gets to where they are going without incident,’’ he said.
‘‘Be aware of the driving conditions, particularly if you are driving through one of our work areas. Please obey the changed traffic conditions, road signs and speed limits.
‘‘If you plan on drinking, don’t plan on driving. Arrange alternative transport such as a taxi, public transport or arrange for a designated driver.
Mr Westley also said the hotter months can lead to frazzled and short tempers on the road.
‘‘So try to control your anger and drive in a safe manner — don’t cut in front of vehicles or tailgate,’’ he said.
‘‘It is better to arrive safely than to take the risk of speeding when you travel. Be courteous and patient to other road users and if someone does the right thing by you, give them a cheery wave.’’