The busy holiday period puts pressure on the country's drivers in a number of different ways. Whether they're heading away on country roads for a much-needed break or stuck working on congested city streets, this is often one of the more dangerous times to be behind the wheel.
However, the latest set of statistics from the Ministry of Transport revealed that while this year's numbers still leave room for improvement, they're better than the 2014/2015 figures. For fuel card users, it's important to be aware of how upcoming events can affect road safety, especially with a number of other long weekends on the horizon.
What happened over the most recent holiday period?
The 2015/2016 holiday road toll refers to the number of deaths that occurred between 4 pm on Christmas Eve and 6 am on January 5, accounting for some of the busiest periods on New Zealand's dangerous state highways.
Last year, 16 people lost their lives in accidents over the same number of days. As the number of statutory holidays changes each year, this can affect the final number. With this year's preliminary toll sitting at 12, it marks a significant improvement in comparison to the previous year.
However, while this marked an improvement, Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss noted there is still plenty of work to be done, as any number of deaths can sill be considered a tragic outcome. Mr Foss stated that there is a range of variables that can impact road safety, in response, drivers can limit their effect by driving cautiously.
"Many people are still on holiday and still driving long distances on unfamiliar roads," he explained. "By taking a little extra care, we give ourselves and our families the best chance of making it home safe and sound."
Whether drivers are heading out on the open road or remaining in the city during busy holiday periods, it's important to prioritise safety at all times.