Males under 25 at risk

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The Crash Analysis System (CAS) shows the Waitaki district had 121 reported crashes in 2021. That number is expected to rise as more minor and noninjury crashes are added — these categories of crashes can take a little longer to appear.

In those 121 crashes, 238 individuals were involved — 133 males, 83 females and 22 recorded as unknown.

One-third of those people were under the age of 25. The message is clearer than ever for the highest risk in our community.

– Are you a male under 25 years old?
– Hold a full driving licence or get driven by someone on a full driving licence?
– Drive or get driven on a State Highway within the Waitaki District?
– Drive or get driven between 9am and 6pm?
– On the road on a Tuesday, Thursday, or Sunday?

If so, according to the provisional crash statistics, you are more likely, with every answer yes, to be involved in a crash than anyone else in the Waitaki district.

Of the 238 people involved in the crashes, 173 were drivers, of which about two-thirds had a full driving licence and more than two-thirds were male drivers.

More than half the crashes occurred between 9am and 6pm, and on a Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday you were twice as likely to be involved in a crash than any other day.

Obviously, we want everyone to be safe on our roads. If I had looked at these crash details at another time of the year, I may have found a different combination being shown. That said, numbers do not lie.

So why males under 25? I have heard it said, that obtaining a driving licence is seen as a way of gaining independence and freedom. Along with that comes responsibility and an understanding of what driving a vehicle means. Just because you have passed a test does not mean you can drive safely. The same argument can be had for those who haven’t passed a test, it doesn’t mean they can’t drive safely.

I was once a male under 25 (a long time ago), so I know the pressures we put on ourselves. I was very lucky and as I learned how to drive, not just pass a test, my mistakes never came at a cost to mine or anyone else’s health. ’m not saying a female over 60 (which I will never be) doesn’t make a mistake or take a silly risk. We all need to be fully focused when driving.

I call it the peacock syndrome; some young males must parade and posture to try and make themselves visible and appear better than another. However, by showing off or
applying peer pressure to the driver, it results in unnecessary risks.

So, if you are a male under 25, you are at risk and not bullet-proof.

For those of you who know or love a male under 25, are you concerned about how they drive or being out in a car? Say something whilst you can and don’t leave it too late. In truth, if you have concerns about any loved ones driving, please say something. They are a long time gone.

Drive safer, Waitaki.

– Jason Evered is the Waitaki District Council’s road safety coordinator