Record low road Fatalities

South Australia has recorded its lowest road toll on record at 87 fatalities, and is set to achieve the largest reduction in annual fatalities of any state for 2016.

Preliminary figures also indicate that serious injuries for 2016 are also low at 718, close to our previous record low of 711 in 2014.

MAC Community Engagement Manager Matt Hanton said while this reduction in both deaths and serious injuries is a considerable achievement, there is still so much more to do – too many people are still dying or being seriously injured on our roads in crashes that could’ve been avoided.

“The saddest part is complacency and poor driver behaviour including speed, failure to wear a seatbelt, drink and drug driving, disobeying simple road rules and inattention have all contributed to death and injury on our roads this year”, said Mr Hanton.

This positive decline in road trauma has been achieved despite a steadily rising population and growth in the number of motor vehicles and the number of licensed drivers.

“While positive reductions have been seen this year, it’s no time for complacency nor celebration because even one death on our roads is one too many.

“The road toll fluctuates year to year, and while there is much interest in the end of year figure, many families will see in 2017 without a loved one, lost to road trauma this past year”, said Mr Hanton.

2016 Statistics

The decline of 16 fatalities on last year’s road toll brings the state’s annual fatality rate to 5.1 per 100,000 population, another record for South Australia that brings us into line with the historically best performing road safety states of New South Wales (currently 5.0) and Victoria (currently 4.7).

The number of fatalities recorded in 2015 was 102 and South Australia’s previous record low road toll of 94 fatalities was achieved in 2012.

Some of the significant improvements include:

  • Fatalities have decreased by 14% in rural areas and 19% in greater Adelaide compared to 2015.
  • Pedestrian fatalities halved in 2016 – a total of 9 compared to 18 last year and a 5 year average (2011-2015) of 15 per year.
  • Driver and passenger fatalities not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash reduced to 12% in 2016, compared to the 5 year average (2011-2015) of 30%.
  • Motorcyclists accounted for 8 fatalities (including 1 scooter rider) – 3 fewer than in 2015 and 6 fewer than the previous 5 year average (2011-2015).
  • Speed was identified as a contributing factor in 25% of fatal crashes in 2016, an improvement on the previous 5 year average of 29%.

There has been little improvement in the following areas:

  • Alcohol – preliminary figures show that for the 12 months to the end of June 2016 24% of drivers or riders killed had an illegal BAC, the majority well over 3 times the legal limit. This shows no improvement on the previous 5 year average of 23%.
  • Drugs – preliminary figures show that for the 12 months to the end of June 2016 14 drivers or riders killed tested positive to cannabis, methamphetamine or ecstasy, compared to an average of 13 per year 2011-2015.
  • Fatigue – at least 14 fatal crashes in 2016 have been attributed to fatigue (10 in 2015).
  • There were 5 heavy vehicle drivers killed in South Australia in 2016 compared to 1 in 2015 and an average of 2 per year (2011-2015).