Road Safety

New analysis reveals regional road trauma challenge

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Analysis by the nation’s peak motoring body shows Australians living in regional areas are almost five times more likely to die in road crashes than those living in cities.

AAA analysis of the latest Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics figures also shows Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory continue to record much higher rates of road deaths per population than the national average.

1,193 people died on the nation’s roads in 2022, an increase of more than 5% on the previous year. This equates to a national per capita fatality rate of 4.59 deaths per 100,000 people.

AAA analysis shows the per capita road death rate for regional Australians in 2022 to be 10.6 deaths per 100,000 people, including 18.7 in both regional Western Australia and the Northern Territory, 10.24 in regional Queensland, and 8.92 across Tasmania.

For urban Australians in 2022, the corresponding rate was 2.24 road deaths per 100,000 people.

2022 road deaths and metro/regional comparison

AAA Managing Director Michael Bradley said: “These numbers present a picture that should be of great concern for people and families living across regional Australia.

“We need to understand the factors causing this metro-regional disparity and greater Commonwealth road safety leadership through improved data collection is the key to making this possible.

“We know deaths are continuing to rise, but we have no national data regarding serious injuries, road quality, crash causes, or details regarding the people and cars involved.

“It is not enough to know how many people were killed in road crashes – we also need to know how they were killed, and how to prevent these deaths in the future”.

The AAA’s 2023-24 federal budget submission calls for commonwealth road funding to states and territories be linked to their provision of this road crash data, so Australians can be satisfied that road spending is going where it is needed.

Mr Bradley said: “The Federal Budget is an opportunity to reset the dial on road safety by making road funding to states contingent on transparency and provision of road safety data.

“There is so much we don’t know about road trauma in Australia, but one thing we do know is that if we keep making the same mistakes, we will continue to produce the same tragic outcomes.’’

2022 road deaths & fatality rates by jurisdiction

AAA Media contact:

Matthew Franklin, Director – External Affairs, 0411 659 868  matthew.franklin@aaa.asn.au

The AAA is the nation’s peak motoring body, representing Australia’s state-based motoring clubs and their 8.9 million members. The AAA is an apolitical and technology-neutral advocate for federal transport policy that improves safety, affordability, and mobility.

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