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The annual Fatality Free Friday campaign is an opportunity for organisations and individuals alike to proudly show their commitment to road safety.

Held on Friday 25th May 2018, this year’s campaign is aimed to increase awareness on driver distraction – with the 2018 road toll already up 19 percent on the same period last year, according to new data from the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF).

The ARSF research also showed that 91 per cent of the nation’s drivers agree that road crashes are the result of bad decisions or attitudes and believe more should be done to save lives.

“The reality is that more often than not, the tragic loss of life on our roads is because of someone’s choice – the choice to speed or to use a mobile phone, the choice to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the choice not to wear a seatbelt or to run a red light,” ARSF founder and CEO Russell White said.

“These are split-second decisions that many people make all the time, but sometimes the consequences are fatal. And with every life lost, there are countless friends and family who will forever carry the heartache of losing someone close to them.”

Alarmingly, the also research showed that the majority of Australians were not aware of how serious an issue road safety was across the country.

When asked how many people they believed were killed on Australian roads each year, three in five drivers were more than 200 deaths away from the average road toll figure. Frighteningly, 18 per cent thought it was only one third of the actual number of lives lost, a further 19 per cent thought it was only two thirds of the true figure.

Mr White said this lack of understanding of how frequent fatal crashes are on Australian roads was likely to be a factor in why so many continue to make dangerous decisions on the road.

“What the new research showed is that the majority of drivers are still guilty of making the very choices that increase risk of crash, and that fuels a ‘it won’t happen to me’ mentality” he said.

“We have more than half of drivers admitting to speeding and upwards of 2 in 5 driving fatigued. The research showed more than quarter are driving while distracted, and 1 in 10 are even getting behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

Since its inception in 2007 the Fatality Free Friday campaign has continued to expand its operation and is now recognised as Australia’s only national community-based road safety program. It has successfully fostered community ownership, complex road safety issues and encourages those who can make a significant difference in reducing road trauma.

Central to the success of the campaign, however, is getting people on board for more than just a single day of action. And it seems to be working, with more than 221,000 pledges signed up to the 2018 Fatality Free Friday campaign so far.

Consider how your organisation can shine a light on road safety this Fatality Free Friday