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Fatal Crashes Increase Hero

MEDIA RELEASE 18 December 2019

MTA alarmed as percentage of fatal crashes involving vehicle factors triples in five years

The percentage of fatal accidents involving vehicle factors tripled between 2013 and 2018, ringing alarm bells for the Motor Trade Association.

MTA Advocacy and Strategy Manager Greig Epps said the trend in the crash data was unmissable and undeniable.

“In the five-year period from 2013 to 2018 the percentage of fatal crashes involving some sort of vehicle factor rose from 5% of all fatal crashes to 15%,” he said.

Mr Epps said things looked even worse when the actual number of crashes were analysed.

“In 2013 vehicle factors contributed to 12 fatal crashes. By 2018 the number was 51 – a four-fold increase!”

Mr Epps said the crash data was consistent with what MTA members were seeing.

“Over that same period there’s been a steady increase in the WoF failure rate.

“First time WoF failure rate was at 35% in 2013. It’s now sitting over 40%. In the Waikato, it’s closer to 50%.

“We’re deeply concerned New Zealanders are losing the know-how and habit of maintaining their vehicles in a safe condition.”

Mr Epps said of the 51 fatal crashes involving vehicle defects in 2018, 23 involved tyres with worn tread.

“Our members are seeing more and more vehicles in their workshops with worn tyre tread across the breadth of the tyre’s surface.

“It’s not just about the primary groove having the minimum 1.5mm of tread, but ensuring that the inner and outer walls are not showing deterioration.”

Mr Epps said the MTA urged all motorists to check the safety of their vehicle, especially their tyres, before heading away for the Christmas holidays.

“As Kiwi families pack up the car for the trip to their favourite summer spot, we ask drivers to please ensure their vehicle is roadworthy.”