Five serious crashes and four deaths in less than a week on Tasmanian roads

TRAGEDIES: Tasmania's road now has risen to 16 after four fatal crashes in less than a week. Police are urging drivers to remain vigilant.
TRAGEDIES: Tasmania's road now has risen to 16 after four fatal crashes in less than a week. Police are urging drivers to remain vigilant.

Drivers are being urged to take care on the road after five “serious” crashes in less than a week.

Four cars were involved in a smash on the Midland Highway south of Perth on Monday night, with two drivers taken to hospital.

The crash was less than 24 hours after a youth died when his motorcycle collided with a truck at Risdon Vale on Sunday night –making him the sixth motorcycle fatality this year.

The 17-year-old was also the fourth person in less than a week to be killed on Tasmania’s roads, after three separate road fatalities across the state last Thursday.

A 55-year-old woman was killed after she collided with a Metro bus at Newstead, an 83-year-old man died in a two-car crash at Western Junction and a 42-year-old female died at the Royal Hobart Hospital after a crash at New Town.

This year’s road toll now sits at 16.

While each crash had a different cause, Launceston acting inspector Justin Bidgood reminded drivers to be aware of road risks in winter, such as black ice.

“Drive to the conditions, pay attention when on the road and leave early to give yourself more time to get somewhere,” he said.

RACT Insurance chief executive Trent Sayers said claims involving black ice had increased by 13 per cent last year.

“Ensure your vehicle is winter-ready by ensuring tyres have enough tread, checking that windscreen wipers are in good condition, and making sure lights are all working,” Mr Sayers said.

Northern roads prone to black ice include the East Tamar Highway, Elephant Pass Main Road, the Bass Highway and the Batman Highway.

Tasmania Police issues updates on road closures and black ice regular. Stay up to date here

Top tips for driving over black ice:

  • Your first instinct may be to panic, try to stay calm
  • Lift your feet off the accelator but do not hit the brakes
  • Allow the car to pass over the ice
  • Try to keep the steering wheel straight, otherwise you may risk skidding or spinning when you try to steer in another direction
  • If you are driving a manual, change into low gear – this will give you more control

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