NTC Chief Executive Nick Dimopoulos said safety must be the top concern for all Australians to avoid the holiday season being marred by tragedy.


“Too often we see fatal accidents occur on our roads that could have been avoided if people planned ahead.”


Mr Dimopoulos said speed, fatigue, drugs and alcohol were the main factors which caused road trauma.


“This year marked the start of the United Nation’s Decade of Action for Road Safety and it’s important that all Australians play their part in preventing deaths and serious injuries on roads worldwide,” said Mr Dimopoulos.


According to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics’ (BITRE) latest Road Death Statistics published in October, a total of 1,279 deaths occurred nationally over the past twelve months.


While this is a 4.8 per cent decrease from the 12-monthly period ending in October 2010, Mr Dimopoulos said more must be done to stop the carnage.


“We all need to take personal responsibility for our behaviour on the roads to ensure everyone goes home safely to their families,” said Mr Dimopoulos.


NTC’s top five tips to stay safe on the roads this festive season:


- If you plan to drink, arrange alternative transport to get home such as booking a taxi, taking public transport or carpooling with a designated (non-drinking) driver.


- Plan regular rest breaks on long trips to combat fatigue.


- Allow enough time to arrive to your destination, to ensure you comply with designated speed limits.


- Have your vehicle serviced before departing for holidays to ensure it is in good condition.


- Familiarise yourself with your journey ahead of time to be prepared for any differing road rules or driving conditions.