The risk of car accident injuries in New South Wales between Sydney and Wollongong could be reduced through changes to infrastructure, which one local expert says are long overdue.
Speaking to the Illawarra Mercury, University of Wollongong associate professor Phillip Laird – also a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport – asserted that Mount Ousley Road may have reached capacity in 2006.
An increased number of commuters between Sydney and Wollongong in recent years, as well as the development of Port Kembla, has resulted in even heavier traffic on the road, which is also known as the M1.
The intersection at the base of Mount Ousley – which Laird described as "one of the busiest intersections on the Princes Highway" – was the site of a fatal car collision in late 2012. Earlier this week, a ute and semi trailer collided on the same stretch of road.
The female driver of the ute had to be cut from her vehicle – a process that took paramedics and firefighters nearly 45 minutes to complete.
Both drivers were taken to hospital and commuters in the northbound lanes were delayed for hours during the morning drive to Sydney as police investigated the scene, the newspaper reported.
Vehicles in northbound lanes on the road were initially forced to make U-turns at the site of the crash, which also affected southbound traffic.
Widespread infrastructure changes needed to prevent car accident injuries
Laird has also previously spoken out about infrastructure changes on the Pacific Highway between Sydney and Brisbane, noting that 30 per cent of all car accidents sustained on this key thoroughfare involve articulated trucks.
Writing for The Conversation in 2012, he advocated the more widespread use of rail freight to ease the pressure on New South Wales roadways, particularly those – like the Pacific and Hume Highways – that have been recently upgraded.
Unless more is done, he noted, a growing number of heavy vehicles on these roads could result in higher numbers of car accident injuries and fatalities.
Anyone who has suffered a car accident injury on one of the busy roadways in New South Wales may wish to discuss their options for compensation with a reputable compensation lawyer.