A coroner says the perception tourist drivers are causing mayhem on our roads is unfounded.
. . .Coroner Gordon Matenga released his findings into their deaths and found both accidents were caused by inexperience.
However, fewer than 6 percent of fatal and serious crashes in the past five years were caused by international visitors.
While many crashes involving foreign drivers were highlighted in the media, the reality was many more people were killed on the roads by New Zealanders, Mr Matenga said. . .
Six percent is a small percentage of all accidents but the conclusion that tourist drivers aren’t a problem can’t be made without knowing what percentage of all drivers are tourists?
When we drive in countries where we’re driving on the opposite side of the road from New Zealand we reckon it takes both of us to drive.
Even then there’s a real danger of habit creeping in – looking right when we exit a petrol station, seeing no approaching traffic on that side of the road and forgetting it’s coming from the left; remembering to look left, look right, look left but then turning on to the left-hand side of the road . . .
Even without the complication of driving on the other side of the road, New Zealand roads have multiple hazards for those not used to them, including the temptation to marvel at the scenery instead of concentrating on driving.