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Media release

New analysis reveals regional road trauma challenge

28.2.2023

Analysis by the nation’s peak motoring body shows Australians living in regional areas are almost five times more likely to die in road crashes than those living in cities.

Updated to include graphics on 21 March 2023.

Analysis by the nation’s peak motoring body shows Australians living in regional areas are almost five times more likely to die in road crashes than those living in cities.

AAA analysis of the latest Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics figures also shows Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory continue to record much higher rates of road deaths per population than the national average.
1,193 people died on the nation’s roads in 2022, an increase of more than 5% on the previous year. This equates to a national per capita fatality rate of 4.59 deaths per 100,000 people.

AAA analysis shows the per capita road death rate for regional Australians in 2022 to be 10.6 deaths per 100,000 people, including 18.7 in both regional Western Australia and the Northern Territory, 10.24 in regional Queensland, and 8.92 across Tasmania.

For urban Australians in 2022, the corresponding rate was 2.24 road deaths per 100,000 people.

2021 road deaths and metro/regional comparison
Per 100,00 population

2022 road deaths and metro/regional comparison
Per 100,00 population

2022 road deaths and metro/regional comparison (table)

Jurisdiction 2022 road deaths  (Metro) 2022 road deaths per 100,000 population (Metro) 2022 road deaths (Regional) 2022 road deaths per 100,000 population (Regional)
NSW
102
1.67
190
9.32
VIC
106
2.07
135
9.11
QLD
105
3.06
194
10.24
SA
24
1.79
47
9.82
WA
62
2.84
112
18.7
TAS
Not Applicable
Not Applicable
51
8.92
NT
Not Applicable
Not Applicable
47
18.75
ACT
18
3.94
Not Applicable
Not Applicable
Australia
417
2.24
776
10.6

AAA Managing Director Michael Bradley said: “These numbers present a picture that should be of great concern for people and families living across regional Australia.

“We need to understand the factors causing this metro-regional disparity and greater Commonwealth road safety leadership through improved data collection is the key to making this possible.

“We know deaths are continuing to rise, but we have no national data regarding serious injuries, road quality, crash causes, or details regarding the people and cars involved.

“It is not enough to know how many people were killed in road crashes – we also need to know how they were killed, and how to prevent these deaths in the future”.

The AAA’s 2023-24 federal budget submission calls for commonwealth road funding to states and territories be linked to their provision of this road crash data, so Australians can be satisfied that road spending is going where it is needed.

Mr Bradley said: “The Federal Budget is an opportunity to reset the dial on road safety by making road funding to states contingent on transparency and provision of road safety data.

“There is so much we don’t know about road trauma in Australia, but one thing we do know is that if we keep making the same mistakes, we will continue to produce the same tragic outcomes.’’

2022 road deaths & fatality rates by jurisdiction

Jurisdiction 2022 road deaths 2022 road deaths per 100,000 population
NSW
292
3.58
VIC
241
3.64
QLD
299
5.62
SA
71
3.9
WA
174
6.25
TAS
51
8.92
NT
47
18.75
ACT
18
3.94
Australia
1,193
4.59

 

AAA Media contact: Matthew Franklin, Director – External Affairs, 0411 659 868, matthew.franklin@aaa.asn.au  

The Australian Automobile Association is the nation’s peak motoring body, representing Australia’s state-based motoring clubs and their 8.9 million members. The AAA is an apolitical and technology-neutral advocate for federal transport policy that improves safety, affordability, and mobility.

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