Every year thousands of men and women take positive steps towards safer behaviour on our roads. From the politicians and activists who promote new laws to the emergency services who are first on scene, everyone has a role to play in greater road safety.
Fortunately, long term statistics suggest that we are on the right track. Despite increasing our traffic from around 4000 to 5 million motor vehicles since 1910, New South Wales roads are safer than they have ever been.
While this statistic is heartening, it doesn’t tell the full story about modern road fatalities and behaviours.
Summer 2016 by the Numbers
The New South Wales Centre for road safety reports a 6 percent decrease in road fatalities in summer 2016 compared to the previous year.
Up to and including February 21 this year, we have seen 50 fatalities on New South Wales’ roads, compared to 53 in 2015. While this alone is encouraging, February 2016 has seen a 50 percent increase in fatalities so far.
These figures tell us that so far, we have seen only a marginal improvement on 2015, which was the worst year for New South Wales road toll in three years.
In 2015 there was an increase of pedestrian and motorcycle fatalities, while speeding, fatigue, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol remained prime causes for fatal accidents.
If early figures are anything to go by, 2016 will be another bad year for pedestrians.
There have been more than double the amount of pedestrian fatalities in summer 2016 compared to the same time last year, and this number is even higher compared to the 3 year average.
Fortunately, we have halved the motorcycle fatalities compared to the same period last year and greatly improved on the 3 year average, while motor vehicle driver fatalities are also down.
Similar to recent years, men have made up the majority of road fatalities while the 40-59 age group remains most at-risk. There also continues to be more fatalities in the country than metropolitan areas during the summer months.
What Does All This Mean for 2016?
It is impossible to forecast what the road toll will be and like everyone else we simply hope for a safer year than the one before.
Road fatalities so far this year are down, but the worst month for both 2015 and the last 3 years didn’t come until August.
Furthermore, while 2015 had the worst road toll in the previous 3 years, it was also the third lowest since records began.
What this tells us more than anything is that while road safety remains a serious issue, the work to reduce its impact is gradually having an effect.
Remember to stay safe on the roads this summer and throughout 2016. If you are in a car crash or accident on the road, remember to turn to loved ones and get the help you need, whether it’s medical, personal or legal. Here at Stacks Goudkamp, our personal injury lawyers have over 40 years of experience in acting for people injured in motor vehicle accidents. If this has happened to you, telephone us on 1800 251 800 for a free no obligation consultation, or make an online enquiry.