A new survey of RAC Roadside Assistance Patrols has revealed a snapshot of what they see on WA roads, with near misses, congestion, road quality and vehicle knowledge highlighted as key issues.

During their time as a Patrol almost 85 per cent of RAC Patrols have experienced a near miss while attending a breakdown and 31 per cent have experienced one as recently as the past month.  

RAC General Manager Corporate Affairs Will Golsby said the RAC Patrol Survey provided unique insights into the habits of WA motorists. 

“RAC’s Roadside Assistance Patrols are the eyes and ears of our roads and this survey is a timely reminder to take care, pay attention and drive to the road conditions,” Mr Golsby said. 

“With almost all our Patrols experiencing safety issues when performing their job on the roadside, this is a significant issue for RAC as well as the WA community,” Mr Golsby said. 

RAC welcomed the introduction of Slow Down Move Over (SLOMO) law in March 2018, which requires motorists passing stationary emergency-response vehicles, including RAC Patrols, to reduce their speed to 40km/h and, if possible, move to another lane. 

“The introduction of SLOMO in WA was an important development, however the findings of this survey demonstrate the need for continued education and enforcement to better protect those who need it most,” Mr Golsby said. 

Results from the survey also reveal increasing issues around congestion, road quality and motorists’ understanding of their vehicle’s mechanics. 

“Of those surveyed, 97 per cent of Patrols said they have seen an increase in congestion during peak times on the roads and 58 per cent have seen a decline in the quality of WA roads, contributing to increased vehicle faults,” Mr Golsby said. 

“Motorists also appear to be increasingly unaware about car maintenance and are not getting their vehicles serviced regularly, with 90 per cent of Patrols saying motorists are less likely to know how to change a tyre.” 

RAC urges members to learn about and look after their cars, not only to save the inconvenience of breaking down, but to ensure the safety of themselves, their passengers and other road users. 

A full copy of the 2018 RAC Patrol Survey is available here.

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Of the RAC Roadside Patrols surveyed:

100% have rescued children and pets from locked vehicles
97% have seen an increase in congestion during peak times
92% have come to the aid of emergency services, getting ambulances back on their way
90% think motorists are less likely to know how to change a tyre
85% have experienced a near miss while attending to a breakdown
58% have seen a decline in road quality
38% think motorists are more likely to ignore their vehicle’s gauges and warning lights


Of the RAC Roadside Patrols surveyed:

75% have arrived to a breakdown with a couple in the middle of a heated argument
71% have assisted a celebrity or well-known public figure
65% have chatted to a member about their holiday plans
39% have delivered an RAC member to an important event like their wedding or job interview
35% have arrived to a couple being passionate