How safe are NSW roads?

It is the responsibility of every fleet manager to ensure their staff is following safety best practices at all times in order to protect their own lives as well as those of other road users.

In encouraging news for motorists in New South Wales, it was recently revealed that the state's road toll last year reached one of the lowest levels ever recorded - a figure that has not been seen in nine decades, in fact.

Minister for Roads Duncan Gay released provisional figures for the 2013 NSW road toll which, at 339, is the lowest since 1924. The tally also represents a sharp drop from 2013, when 369 road fatalities were recorded.

To put things into perspective, Transport for NSW revealed that back in 1924, the NSW population was 2.2 million and there were only around 150,000 registered vehicles in the state. The population has now more than tripled at 7.4 million, and there are almost 5 million registered vehicles on NSW roads.

Yet despite the positive statistics, Mr Gay insisted that there is still plenty of scope for the number to drop even lower.

"While fewer fatalities is encouraging, that still means 339 people do not get to spend the new year with friends and family, and their loss will be felt by everyone they knew as we start 2014," he said in a January 1 statement.

He also reminded drivers about some of the biggest contributors to deaths on the road.

"Fatigue and speeding are major issues during the holidays with motorists rushing to their destination, going too fast, pushing on when they are tired or setting out without having a good night’s sleep," he explained.

Many of these issues can be avoided with a combination of simple common sense, proper driver education and training and an effective fleet management program that helps your staff tackle and eliminate hazards such as fatigue.