Unintentional errors killing New Zealand motorists

New AA research has found unintentional errors are behind the majority of serious injury crashes - not reckless behaviour behind the wheel.

With Easter weekend coming up, drivers are being warned to stay focused while on the road.

AA policy and research manager Simon Douglas told The AM Show that "ordinary drivers" are crashing due to little mistakes.

"We were really surprised by the results that showed that around 70 percent of serious accidents involved people just making genuine mistakes," he says.

"Perhaps not paying attention, perhaps being on their cellphone, perhaps misjudging a gap. It's a real warning to Kiwi drivers ahead of Easter. Every time you hop in the car, stay focused."

The AM Show host Duncan Garner admitted he got dobbed in after driving while tired.

"A few weeks ago... I was heading north and I crossed the centre-line just a little bit," he says.

"I got a little bit sleepy, a little bit of inattention. Now that was reported by somebody and a 100 kilometres later I was stopped by a police officer.

"Somebody dobbed me in, and fair enough too, because I just went over the centre-line."

Mr Douglas says the study should be a warning to New Zealanders.

"What this study shows is that when circumstances combine, it can lead to a serious accident and somebody seriously injured," he says.

"It shows you we really need to pay attention, we need to be in the safest car that we can be in and that the government needs to continue with its investment programme to make sure that the roads we drive on everyday are as safe as possible."