New Zealand's worst disaster (by death toll) is the Mount Erebus disaster of 1979.
257 lives were lost in New Zealand's worst air disaster.
Before and since Erebus, there have been thousands of lives lost on New Zealand roads, and many more serious injuries.
In the last 5 years since Christchurch's tragic earthquake disaster, for example, there have been on average almost 300 road fatalities per year.
It's easy to understand why disasters that strike suddenly and take many lives are so shocking to us all, not only to those personally and directly affected.
They are extra-ordinary events. They can really make us stop to think.
About how vulnerable we all are.
What I find so sad is that road accidents are such an every day occurrence, they are now expected, ordinary events. Nearly every day we hear about a horrible tragedy on New Zealand roads. Yet, unless personally affected, how often do we stop to think about how vulnerable we all are, on and around roads?
We don't have any control over the plane carrying us, and we have absolutely no control over random natural disasters.
We CAN, however, take responsibility for our decisions when driving and our own safety around roads and vehicles.
* We can make sure our vehicle is well maintained between WOFs.
* We can learn new skills to improve our abilities and behaviour on the road.
* We can give lots of space to children, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
* We can always wear helmets as cyclists and motorcyclists.
* We can always wear a seatbelt and make sure our passengers do too.
* We can make sure capsules and baby seats are fitted and used correctly.
* We can give driving our full attention at all times.
* We can choose to always drive sober.
* We can slow down, obey speed limits and anticipate hazards.
* We can be prepared and drive for the conditions.
* We can decide to take another form of transport if necessary.
* We can decide not to drive if tired or upset.
* We can choose to always be courteous and respectful to other road users.
There are many more ways we can influence our survival and others' with our every day decisions and habits.
Above all, we can choose to take driving and road safety much more seriously.
Buckle up, buttercups, every day decisions matter.