With the holiday season now behind us, Transport for New South Wales has compiled traffic death toll figures for the entire year and found that the state reported its lowest death toll since 1924.
While this is certainly an achievement, Minister for Roads Duncan Gay was still somber in his address to the public and reminded people that even a single death on a NSW road is one too many. The provisional data showed last year's death toll was 339, down from 369 reported in 2012.
"While fewer fatalities is encouraging, that still means 339 people do not get to spend the new year with friends and family, and their loss will be felt by everyone they knew as we start 2014."
To provide some context for this information on car accident injuries and deaths, Mr Gay added that the last time there were this few fatalities, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was still a conceptual design. In 1924, the state's population was about 2.2 million, and there were fewer than 150,000 cars on the road.
Fast forward to today, and there are about 7.4 million people in the state and almost 5 million drivers.
Getting to the root of car accident injuries
Mr Gay stated in 2014 it will be important for drivers to keep in mind the most important factors that will help NSW roads stay safe for all motorists.
"Fatigue and speeding are major issues during the holidays with motorists rushing to their destination, going too fast, pushing on when they are tired or setting out without having a good night’s sleep," he said.
Marg Prendergast, general manager of the Centre for Road Safety, stated that last year's road toll was down by more than one-third compared to 10 years ago. In 2003, 539 people were killed on the state's roads.
"The main contributors to the improved figure for 2013 were reductions in passenger and pedestrian deaths," Ms Prendergast said.
"There were 49 passenger deaths in 2013, down by 40 per cent on 2012 and the lowest passenger fatality total since records began in 1939."
She added that the group plans to put even more programs in place this year that she hopes will continue to help lower the state's road death toll.
Those who have been injured in a NSW car accident may want to contact a compensation lawyer to assess all legal options.