The holiday road death toll has continued to rise across Australia, with the current count at 13 between the Christmas and New Year’s period.
This is an especially dangerous time of year, and organisations have developed several plans that seek to lower the road toll number, but every year it appears there will always be car accident injuries as the roadways swell with holiday travellers.
Most recently, an 18-year-old woman was killed when she was driving a ute in Northwest New South Wales and the vehicle rolled. Police are still looking into the exact cause of the accident. Shortly before this, a female cyclist was killed after she was struck in a hit-and-run accident outside Adelaide.
Police reports show a 37-year-old woman allegedly struck the cyclist then fled the scene of the accident. However, only about two hours later, a squad car positioned on the Southern Expressway noticed a car that had damage to its front bumper and a broken windshield. Both occupants of the vehicles were arrested, while the driver was charged with dangerous driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
Car accident injuries and deaths around the country
Meanwhile, a truck driver was killed in Queensland after rolling his vehicle, and an investigation into the matter has turned up that he likely was not wearing his seatbelt during the crash. Yet another truck driver was involved in a crash with a motorist on Mount Lindesay Highway.
In New South Wales, officials have been trying out new programs every year in an attempt to lower the roadway death toll, with some success over the years. Currently, the road toll to December 29 stands at 342, marking a 7 per cent decrease from the 367 people who had been killed in car accidents in the same period in 2012.
However, holiday-specific roadway fatalities have risen slightly. Through December 29 last year, 26 people were killed, while 28 have already died in car accidents this December.
Drivers have made up the bulk of all roadway fatalities, comprising 167 of all deaths this year, which marks a 4 per cent increase over the 163 fatalities reported last year.
The number of bicycle rider deaths may be the most troubling, though. In the past year, this number has doubled from seven to 14 – much higher than the three-year average of about nine.