AMI urges Kiwis to prioritise safety as road trips surge

AMI urges Kiwis to prioritise safety as road trips surge

“With so many of us taking a classic Kiwi road trip this summer, it’s important to make a plan for your trip so we can all stay safe on the road,” said AMI executive general manager of distribution Paula ter Brake (pictured above). “Preparing for a long journey should start before you set off by making sure you get a good night’s sleep and that your car is in good working order.  Start your road trip prep by getting your car serviced, checking your tyre pressure, topping up your engine oil and coolants and checking all brakes and indicator lights are working properly.”

According to ter Brake, 64% of respondents said they would delay or change their travel plans due to bad weather, and 45% because of bad traffic, but only 39% of them actually checked either of these before leaving the house.

“Checking for any roadworks or closures, getting your car serviced, doing some general maintenance, and checking availability of rest stops and service centres, or EV charging stations along your route are key to a safe and stress-free drive,” ter Brake said.

The survey found that Kiwis are generally confident of their driving skills – 84% of respondents rated their driving on long journeys as good/very good, and only 2% rated their driving as poor/very poor.

However, this confidence does not extend to other drivers. Only 43% of respondents rated the driving of others as good/very good, while 18% rated other drivers as poor/very poor on a road trip.

“Long road trips can be equal parts exciting and frustrating,” ter Brake said. “We often want to just get there, but there can be traffic delays, unexpected weather, and lots of hot and bothered passengers and other drivers to contend with. So, if you’re the lucky designated driver, it’s a good reminder to be patient and to stay focused on the road and remain aware of other drivers.  That way we can all get to our destinations safely.”

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AMI also called attention to the importance of taking breaks during long drives. The survey found that over half of respondents are planning road trips taking between two and five hours, and over a third have long drives planned, exceeding six hours. 

And while New Zealanders are keen to get behind the wheel, AMI said that many have not factored in appropriate break times – 33% were only planning to take one break during their road trip, and 9% were planning to take none at all.

“Having a road-trip plan in place helps make the journey safer – and more enjoyable – for everyone,” ter Brake said. “And if you get stuck – AMI Breakdown service is here to help – it’s an optional extra you can add to your comprehensive car insurance with us. Of course, if you need to make a claim, we’ll have people working throughout the festive season to help get you back on the road as quickly as possible.”