The hidden road toll

The Motor Accident Commission (MAC) has launched a new campaign highlighting the impact of serious road injuries to coincide with the half-way point in the annual road toll.

With 283 serious injuries and 41 fatalities to date* in 2017, road authorities are hopeful for a consecutive record low road toll, but warn that figures can quickly change.

Road Safety Minister Peter Malinauskas said the continued reduction in death and injury on our roads is encouraging, but can change in an instant and we all need to work together to continue to reduce the road toll and rate of serious injuries.

“Every death is one too many, as is every injury. Road safety is about each of us taking responsibility for our behaviour – not sometimes, or most of the time, but every single time we get behind the wheel,” said Mr Malinauskas.

While overall the SA’s road toll is down on this time last year, with a significant decline in serious injuries, down 25%, there has been an increase in motorcycle fatalities with 8 lives lost.

“Sadly, we have seen a spike in motorcycle deaths this year. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable road users and we are continuing to invest in road upgrades and education to improve safety for riders,” said Mr Malinauskas.

The new ‘hidden road toll’ campaign features on a tram wrap and highlights that for every road death, 79 people are injured.

The x-ray like tram wrap aims to expose the unseen side of our road toll, with  injuries often overshadowed by fatalities, which only account for a small proportion of the overall trauma on South Australian roads.

MAC Community Engagement Manager, Matt Hanton said while fatalities receive greater attention in the media and road safety reporting, injuries account for the most significant proportion of overall road trauma.

“Every day on our roads, when we make poor decisions behind the wheel we're not just risking death, we're risking disability, brain injury and a painful recovery.

“The consequences of being injured on our roads is under reported and not well recognised by the community,” said Mr Hanton

 *The road toll as at 30 June 2017 was 41 fatalities and 283 serious injuries compared to 43 and 379 at this time last year.