For all the work that Australian authorities do to reduce the national road toll, it seems this is a problem that continues to go from bad to worse. According to the Australian Medical Association (AMA), more than 185,000 people have lost their lives on the road since records began in 1925. In fact, close to 34,000 Australians are killed or injured in road accidents every year.
While we can't do anything about the past, the AMA is calling for all road users to learn from these statistics and ensure they don't fall victim to a road accident. This call to action coincides with World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (November 15) when the world is asked to take time out to remember those lost on the roads.
AMA President Professor Brian Owler explained that three people are killed each day in road accidents across the country.
"People are still making risky decisions on the road that not only have devastating impacts on individuals, but also on their family and friends," he said.
"Anyone who has witnessed the consequences of road trauma understands that it is quick and unforgiving."
Professor Owler outlined that road trauma costs the Australian economy close to $30 billion per annum – meaning these incidents affect all of us.
Based on statistics from Transport for NSW, there have been 290 fatal crashes so far in 2015 – five more than the entire 2014 calendar year. Additionally, the state road toll has already eclipsed last year's total.
How to reduce the road accident rate
While many accidents are just that – accidents – a significant percentage are the result of Australian driving culture and a mentality that speeding is an appropriate behaviour.
As well as improving education and driver penalties, Professor Owler said improved driving technology will prove key.
"The introduction of preventative measures, such as seat belts; improved automobile technology and random breath tests have managed to substantially reduce road trauma – but more needs to be done," he continued.
"Reducing the number of road accidents can only be achieved through cooperation – governments, industry and the community all need to work together to pursue safer Australian roads and safer Australian driving."
NSW car accident compensation
If you are involved in a crash and suffer a whiplash injury, get in touch with car accident lawyers. They can help to determine whether you are eligible for car accident compensation.
This can assist with medical bills, loss of wages/superannuation and ensure you standard of living while you recover.