The number of deaths and serious injuries occurring on NSW roads has steadily declined over the years, as technology advances and safety initiatives make driving less dangerous.
But the path to progress can sometimes be bumpy. The latest state government figures reveal that road safety suffered a number of setbacks last year when compared with 2016.
Let’s examine some of the headline-grabbing statistics and explore what they mean for road users in NSW.
Tragically, 392 people lost their lives on the state’s roads last year. This means 12 more individuals died than in 2016, representing a 3 per cent increase.
Now, nearly five people for every 100,000 of the population are killed in motor vehicle accidents each year. While fatalities decreased in the Sydney metropolitan area, deaths rose everywhere else, suggesting more measures are needed to keep road users safe outside the inner city.
Speeding was the biggest killer in 2017, carrying on a tradition set the previous year. Forty-two per cent of road deaths were due to someone driving too fast.
Fatigue and drink driving were also key contributors to the road toll last year, although both posed less of a risk than in 2016. The number of accidents where alcohol was involved dropped nearly 24 per cent, indicating that recent police operations to tackle drunk drivers are working.
Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable road users, as they have little protection when involved in accidents with motor vehicles. So it is good news that 17 fewer pedestrian deaths occurred in 2017 – a drop of 24 per cent.
The same can’t be said for vehicle passengers, with a sizeable 51 per cent increase in the number of people killed while riding in a vehicle.
“Every life lost is one too many and, sadly, in 2017 we lost 392. That’s 392 people lost to their friends, families and communities forever,” said Roads, Maritime and Freight Minister Melinda Pavey.
Unfortunately, last year’s drop in the road safety rate appears to be continuing in 2018. There have already been 29 fatalities as of January 24, which is seven higher than at this point last year.
However, compensation may be available if you or a loved one are seriously injured or killed in a car accident. Contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers to discuss your eligibility for a claim.