Australians have a long history of loving cars. From the range of domestic motor racing championships, to the affinity many people have with local manufacturers such as Ford and Holden, most people come into contact with this love in some way.
However, while this positivity is reflected by the record number of new car purchases in 2015, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, there's downside as well. Put simply, too many people are being hurt or killed on the country's roads. A recent report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found that serious injuries are becoming much more common.
If you're one of the many people injured in incidents involving a vehicle, it's important to pursue car accident compensation to ensure you're treated fairly.
Australian drivers are getting riskier
The AIHW investigated the many accidents occurring around Australia, choosing to focus on those that caused serious injuries to drivers or passengers. In this instance, serious injury referred to cases where people were hospitalised with life-threatening illnesses, but were ultimately released after recovering.
The organisations studied these trends over a 10-year period between 2000 and 2010, an era when many safety technologies debuted on vehicles. Despite the increased focus on automotive safety, the rate of serious injury did not decrease. In fact, the AIHW reported that while the rate "fluctuated" over time, it increased overall.
More than one-quarter (26 per cent) of all accidents on Australian roads during the studied period resulted in life-threatening injuries as defined above. The demographic most affected during this time was males aged between 45 and 64.
People on bikes (both motorised and pedal-powered) were found to grow riskier between 2000 and 2010 for life-threatening injuries in particular. This rate rose from 5.2 to 7.5 per cent. Two statistics that did see a noticeable drop however, were pedestrian injuries and those that occurred after a motor vehicle and a pedestrian collided.
The overall increase in life-threatening car accident injuries for males was driven by the increased danger of being a motorcyclist or regular cyclist during this timeframe. In 2010 alone, the proportion of bike accidents that caused life-threatening injuries rose to 58 per cent, well above the 2001 figure of 31 per cent.
To find out more about car accident compensation, contact the lawyers at Gerard Malouf and Partners.