Road trauma doesn't discriminate

Victorians are being urged to avoid complacency on the roads, as new research reveals the majority of the state’s road deaths happen because of a simple mistake.

Judgement errors like driving too fast for the conditions, taking a corner too wide or lapses in concentration are all common but less malicious ‘mistakes’ that can have fatal consequences.

Analysis of Transport Accident Commission data has revealed that, in 2020 alone, 146 (71 per cent) road deaths involved a basic error, as opposed to high-risk behaviours such as speeding, drink-driving and drug-driving.

The new data shows that tragic errors have played a role in around 70 per cent of road deaths since 2017.

The findings come as COVID-19 restrictions ease in Victoria and more people return to the state’s roads. So far in 2021, 128 people have lost their lives on the roads, compared with 130 at the same time last year.

While deliberate behaviour like excessive speed, using a hand-held device, drink driving and drug driving rightfully remain a concerted focus of the state’s road safety efforts, Victorians are being reminded that even the best drivers can be a split second away from the unthinkable happening.

With intrastate travel now allowed we’re seeing busier roads on the weekends, it is critical that people are vigilant, obey all our road rules and play their part in keeping the roads safe.

Of the deaths so far this year, 66 have been on regional roads, down from 74 last year, and 62 on metro roads, up from 55.

The Victoria Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 has been developed to address risk-taking behaviour and to protect all road users from the inadvertent errors we can all make when using the road. 

Protective road infrastructure and programs to encourage the purchase of safe vehicles are key to creating a safe road system for all and are an important part of the strategy, which aims to half road trauma by 2030.