Figures issued by AA New Zealand have revealed that, up to October 11, the number of road fatalities during 2016 had exceeded the death toll for the whole of 2013.

“In 2013 New Zealand had a record low road toll of 253 deaths but since then the number of road deaths has sadly gone back up,” said AA Motoring Affairs General Manager Mike Noon.

Up to October 11, there have been 255 deaths in 2016 as well as thousands of people injured.

“As a leading road safety campaigner the AA is extremely sad and concerned to see more people hurt and dying in crashes,” said Mr Noon.

“Our population has grown and the amount people are driving is increasing but the question of why we have seen the road toll go up significantly from 2013 is something authorities need to be looking at.”

Regardless of what lies behind the increase the most important thing is turning it around and every driver can play their part, Mr Noon said.

“Every time someone slows down in poor conditions, or makes sure they have a good following distance, or doesn’t use their cellphone when driving it could be the time that saves a life. The AA wants everyone to make those safe choices.

“Several times around the country today something unexpected will happen on the road and people will need to react in an instant. If you are going too fast for the conditions, following too close or are not paying attention that might mean you aren’t able to stop in time.

“Making our roads safer is about more than just wearing your seatbelt and not drinking and driving. Every driver will have moments where they could play it a bit safer and reduce their risks of being hurt in a crash.”