The Federal Government’s report into the 2013 road toll has been released, with a focus on the last decade finding fatalities have dropped by 25 percent.
Compiled by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), the Road Deaths Australia 2013 Statistical Summary also found Australia’s fatality rate per population is down 35 percent.
Australians are not only surviving collisions, but are crashing less-often as well, with the annual fatal crash rate decreasing by 23 percent.
The decline in road deaths from 2004-2008 inclusive eased nine percent, but improved by 17 percent from 2009-2013.
While legislation for compulsory electronic stability control was not introduced until 2011 and updated in 2013, there’s little doubt the technology is partly responsible for the accelerated improvement in the road toll over the last five years.
Every state and territory in Australia has seen an improvement in the road toll over the last decade, but some states have fared better than others.
While fatality rates among young drivers aged 17-25 are significantly higher than the average, it’s the over 65 age bracket that has the highest rate of annual fatalities per population; accounting for 14 percent of licence holders yet 23 percent of fatalities.
Young drivers showed the greatest rate of improvement out of all age groups in Australia, trending downwards at 8.2 percent per year.
Each type of vehicular collision is decreasing as well, although some segments are now more heavily represented than they were a decade ago.
Single vehicle collisions with no pedestrian involved now account for 47 percent of all incidents - up from 44 percent ten years ago - while vehicle occupant deaths have fallen to 64 percent from 71 percent, suggesting more pedestrians and cyclists are dying on the roads.