This online engagement was hosted on YourSAy from 12 October to 2 November 2020. Below is a record of the engagement.
Every person in South Australia is a road user. Whether you drive, ride, walk or are a passenger, this is your opportunity to help shape a new road safety strategy to guide South Australia’s progress towards zero deaths and serious injuries.
Road trauma remains a significant problem and the impacts are devastating for families and loved ones, and for those who support the seriously injured, some of whom may have long term life-changing injuries.
A total of 482 people lost their life and a further 3,482 people were seriously injured on South Australian roads over the past five years. In 2019, the highest number of lives lost in almost a decade was recorded, with 114 lives lost.
Two thirds of people who are killed or seriously injured in road crashes are vehicle occupants - drivers and passengers. The other one third are the vulnerable road users - motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists. Vulnerable road users do not have the protection of a solid vehicle, and are not always as visible as other road users. Older and younger age groups are also over represented in lives lost.
Behavioural factors commonly seen in crashes where lives are lost include failure to wear a seatbelt, speeding, drugs and alcohol and distraction. Crashes resulting in lives lost are more common on regional roads and serious injury crashes are more likely to be on metropolitan roads.
The rate of lives lost per population are up to four-times higher in regional SA compared to metropolitan Adelaide. It is mainly regional residents who die in rural areas.
Most of these lives are lost on regional roads with a speed limit at 90 km/h or above. These crashes are mostly single vehicle run-off-road crashes, where the vehicle leaves the road at speed and hits the nearest fixed object. Head-on crashes are another common crash type on regional high speed roads, these can occur when a driver has either lost control after leaving the road and over-corrected or has drifted across the road or attempted to overtake another vehicle.
In the metropolitan area, one third of crashes resulting in lives lost and almost half of crashes resulting in serious injury occur at intersections. Common crash types resulting in the loss of life or serious injury at intersections are right turn and right angle crashes. The remaining serious crashes occur at midblock sections where there are no intersecting roads. Serious crashes at midblock sections often involve the vehicle leaving the road and hitting an object or pedestrian.
The cost of road trauma to the Australian community is tragic and widespread. The annual economic cost of road crashes in Australia is estimated at $27 billion per annum, and the social impacts are overwhelming.
Further details on road safety issues across the State are detailed in the attached issues paper which also highlights some unique issues across four geographic contexts including: metropolitan Adelaide and the CBD; regional centres; rural towns and remote communities and regional roads.