Safety technology may be advancing at a rapid pace, but accidents in NSW appear to be on the rise nonetheless. The latest Transport for NSW figures show that 136 people have already lost their lives on the state's roads this year – 27 more than at this time in 2017.
The state government has launched a number of initiatives to reduce car accident injuries and deaths, including the Road Safety Plan 2020. But which road users are the most at risk according to the latest research?
More than twice as many men die as a result of road accidents than women, Transport for NSW's crash and casualty statistics found. Last year, 274 men were killed, compared with 118 women.
This trend has never wavered since Transport for NSW began recording road fatalities in 1996, with death rates always higher among men. There may be various reasons for this phenomenon, including men driving more recklessly or purchasing faster cars.
However, figures from the US Federal Highway Administration also reveal that men drive more kilometres per year than women, meaning they are on the road for longer periods and more likely to be involved in accidents.
Younger, less experienced drivers usually pay the highest insurance premiums, but it's actually the over-70s who are more likely to be killed in a road accident.
This demographic has topped the fatality trends list since 2011, with 74 people in this age range dying on NSW roads in the last year alone. While various age groups have seen substantial declines in the number of deaths over the last 20 years, the figures for over-70s remain broadly similar.
According to Victoria's Transport Accident Commission, older people are particularly at risk because they are frailer and less likely to recover from serious injuries than younger road users. Their reaction times, eyesight and hearing may also be compromised, which could lead to accidents.
Perhaps surprisingly, drivers appear to be more at risk of fatal accidents than other road users who would seem more vulnerable to a vehicle collision, such as pedestrians and cyclists.
The trend is probably explained by the fact there are far more cars and trucks on the road than other vehicle types.
Have you recently been involved in a road accident?
Transport for NSW research shows 12,172 people in the state were hospitalised with serious injuries after being involved in a motor vehicle accident last year.
Anyone who is hurt in a crash could be entitled to compensation if they weren't at fault or were only partly to blame for the incident. If you'd like to know more, book a free consultation with Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers today.