Spine-Chilling Australian Car Accident Statistics for 2020

car accidents statistics

Driving can be quite a thrilling experience, but it can also lead to fatal car accidents under ominous circumstances. Drivers who disrespect the rules of the road, especially during inclement weather, might injure themselves or others. Are you ready to take a look at some frightening yet precautionary car accident statistics for 2020 in Australia? For instance, have you ever wondered how many people die in car accidents in Australia every year?

Fasten your seatbelt and keep on reading to find out!

10 Fascinating Facts That Will Drive the Message Home

  • A total of 1,133 deaths were recorded in fatal car accidents in the last year.
  • The annual rate of deaths is 4.4 per 100,000 citizens.
  • Injuries from car accidents comprise 40% of the social costs in Australia.
  • A total of 559 road fatalities among drivers were recorded for the 12-month period ending April 2021.
  • A total of 15 bus crash fatalities were recorded in the four quarters ending March 2021.
  • Around 73% of the 2018 car crash victims were male.
  • Almost a sixth of all car crashes in Australia are distraction-related.
  • 98% of drivers wore a seat belt in 2020.
  • 49% of all fatal car crashes between 2016 and 2019 were recorded in over-90 km/h zones.
  • The number of fatal car accidents in Australia decreased by 10% during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

General Road Accident Statistics in Australia

1. A total of 1,133 deaths were recorded in fatal car accidents in the last year.

(Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications)

Оver a thousand road deaths in Australia occurred in fatal road crashes between April 2020 and April 2021, which is an increase of 11 deaths compared to the preceding 12-month period—April 2019 to April 2020.

2. The government’s car accident statistics recorded 84 road deaths for April 2021.

(Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications)

Per the latest car crash statistics in Australia, around 7.4% of all road deaths of the last year were reported just for April 2021. However, this number is lower by 12 deaths than the average for April over the past five years.

3. The annual rate of deaths is 4.4 per 100,000 citizens.

(Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications)

Between four and five people out of 100,000 perish in a car accident in Australia on a yearly basis, according to recent government data. The 12-month period ending April 2021 shows a 0.3% increase in road deaths compared to the preceding 12-month term.

4. Queensland is the state with the most road deaths in Australia in 2020/21.

(Statista) (Live Traffic)

When comparing the numbers of road fatalities by state in Australia, Queensland overtook New South Wales and ranked first with 301 victims—over 25% of the total number of deaths in the year ending April 2021. On the other hand, New South Wales recorded eight casualties less than Queensland during that same time period.

Since the highest tally of 406 road deaths in a single year was recorded in New South Wales in 2018, the state government has set up a website called Live Traffic, which informs about the latest Sydney car accidents and the overall road safety in the New South Wales region.

5. The Australian Capital Territory reported ten road traffic deaths in the year ending April 2021.

(Statista)

According to data provided by the Australian Government, ACT has the lowest yearly number of fatal car accidents of all Australian territories. For instance, during the 12-month period ending April 2021, only ten traffic participants have died in car accidents. Following ACT is Tasmania with 29 road deaths and the Northern Territory with 31 casualties.

6. 39,404 people were taken to the hospital with road crash injuries in 2017/18.

(Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications)

The latest data available for injuries from car accidents indicates that almost 39,500 people were admitted to the hospital with road crash wounds—a yearly rate of 156.5 hospital admissions per 100,000 population. Nearly a quarter of all entries were cases with a high threat to life.

7. Non-collisions on a curve were the most common type of car accidents between 2015 and 2017.

(Budget Direct)

Per recent car accident statistics in Australia, the most common type of accident between 2015 and 2017 was a non-collision on a curve. Opposing direction crashes were the second-most-common type of car accident, followed by a regular non-collision kind of crash. Pedestrian accidents made up 13.1% of the total number of road accidents. In contrast, with 6% of all cases, the rarest type of accident was two cars colliding while driving in the same direction.

8.  Injuries from car accidents comprise 40% of the social costs in Australia.

(Budget Direct)

According to data as recent as 2016, the social expenses of vehicle crash injuries amounted to over $33 billion, which is 40% of the total costs for road crashes and an increase of 22% since 2006. Note that these figures are not to be taken at face value since some car accidents are not reported and/or some injuries are not treated at public hospitals.

Car Accident Casualties

9. A total of 559 road fatalities among drivers were recorded for the 12-month period ending April 2021.

(Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications)

Official road accident statistics in Australia show a staggering number of 559 deaths occurring in fatal car accidents for the 12 months leading to April 2021—an increase of 14 casualties than the previous 12-month period. 

The same government data tells us that 626 drivers died in the 12-month term leading to April 2013—the highest number recorded in the last ten years. On the other hand, the lowest number was registered at 529 casualties for the yearly period ending April 2015.

10. Almost 180 passengers died in road crashes in the past year.

(Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications)

The same car crash statistics list 179 passenger deaths for the yearly period ending April 2021—the lowest number of passenger casualties in the last ten years. When considering the much higher number of driver deaths for the same period, we can surmise that drivers display riskier driving behaviours when driving alone.

11. 126 pedestrian deaths were registered between April 2020 and April 2021.

(Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications)

Pedestrians are also car accident victims in Australia. For example, almost 130 pedestrian casualties were recorded for the last 12-month period ending April 2021, which is the lowest number registered in the last decade. In comparison, the highest number of pedestrian deaths was 189—reported in 2011/12.

12. In the year ending April 2021, 229 motorcyclists lost their lives on Australia’s roads.

(Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications)

The car accident statistics collected in April 2021 show almost 230 motorcyclists died in 2020/21, which is the highest death toll in this road user category in the past decade. In comparison, 2019/20 saw 42 fewer deaths of motorcycle users.

13. 33 pedal cyclists died on Australia’s roads in 2020/21.

(Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications)

For the 12 months ending April 2021, 33 pedal cyclists lost their lives in fatal car accidents. While this number signifies a decrease of 12 fatalities than the prior year, Western Australia still recorded a 200% increase in the number of cyclist deaths.

14. A total of 15 bus crash fatalities were recorded in the four quarters ending March 2021.

(Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications) (Statista) 

The number of road deaths in Australia involving buses amounted to 15 fatalities in 2020/21—9 deaths less than 2019 and 17 deaths less than 2017. Comparatively, the lowest tally of bus crash deaths was registered in 2013, with only 13 casualties.

15. 164 road crash fatalities involving goods vehicles were recorded in 2020/21.

(Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications)

Another group of car accident victims in Australia are operators of goods vehicles who suffered more than 160 fatalities between June 2020 and March 2021—106 were driving an articulated truck, while the rest were heavy rigid truck operators. While the number of road crash fatalities involving articulated trucks has increased by 12 compared to the 12 months ending March 2020, the tally of heavy rigid truck victims has reduced by 25.

16. Road users aged 40–64 comprised more than 30% of all road deaths in Australia in the year leading to April 2021.

(National Road Safety Strategy)

If you wonder who has the highest risk of crashing, note that older drivers have higher chances of participating in a car crash, according to the latest car accident statistics. In 2020/21, almost double the number of road deaths occurred among traffic users 40 to 64 years of age than novice drivers aged 17 to 25—346 and 215, respectively.

The age group with the fewest road deaths in Australia is teenagers and children younger than 17 years of age since they generally travel as passengers, and elderly citizens older than 64 who rarely drive a motor vehicle.

17. Around 73% of the 2018 car crash victims were male.

(Budget Direct)

Out of a total of 1146 car accident death reports in 2018, 854 were male victims. Females, on the other hand, accounted for the remainder, i.e. 291 casualties. According to recent motor vehicle accidents statistics in Australia, this gender discrepancy is similar for the previous several years, indicating that male operators in control of the situation tend to take risks more often than female drivers.

18. 64.7% of all car crash fatalities for 2016 were recorded in regional and remote areas.

(MDPI)

The latest comparisons between urban and rural fatal car accidents reveal a significant discrepancy between the fatality rates of these two types of areas. For instance, while regional and remote regions are home to only 27.3% of the country’s inhabitants, they still registered almost 65% of all car crash fatalities in 2016. On the other hand, major cities house 72.7% of all citizens but recorded 35.3% of all road accident deaths.

Leading Causes of Road Accidents in Australia

19. Almost a sixth of all car crashes in Australia are distraction-related.

(Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety)

Have you ever wondered about what percentage of road crashes are caused by factors that include at least some human error? Well, distraction-related accidents amounted to 15.9% of all vehicle accidents, according to а 2020 study conducted by the Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety.

The Australian National Crash In-depth Study (ANCIS) also reported that 42% of all surveyed drivers in Queensland and Victoria use their handheld mobile phone while driving. This survey concluded that drivers overestimate their capability to operate a vehicle while using a mobile phone. Texting was found to be the riskiest phone interaction since it results in longer distractions.

20. Around 88.5% of surveyed motorists don’t feel confident driving while using a phone.

(Budget Direct)

Per a 2020 Budget Direct survey, more than four-fifths of Australian drivers said they are not sure they can drive and use their phones simultaneously. Compared to 2018, these new texting and driving statistics in Australia show a rise in awareness of the risks of using a phone while driving. The same article indicates that male drivers are the greater risk-takers, with 13,8% responding they can both drive and use a phone. On the other hand, only 9.3% of female motorists answered they could do so.

21. 98% of drivers wore a seat belt in 2020.

(RoyalAuto)

According to the Transport Accident Commission, almost all Australian motorists wear a seatbelt. However, even 2% amounts to 88,000 Victorian drivers not buckling up, which is a scary thought since driving without a seatbelt doubles your chances of dying in a car crash. The study reveals that the two most common reasons for driving without a seatbelt are intoxication by alcohol and/or drugs or making short trips in a known area.

22. Approximately 20% of drivers killed in car crashes weren’t wearing a seatbelt.

(Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety)

According to a 2016 study, not wearing a seatbelt is the cause of death for around 150 Australian citizens per year. Researchers suggest that the risk of a car accident death or a severe injury is reduced by up to 50% if you wear a seat belt. Note that even driving at a relatively low speed of 40km/h can lead to severe injuries if you fail to adjust your seatbelt correctly.

23. 49% of all fatal car crashes between 2016 and 2019 were recorded in over-90 km/h zones.

(MDPI)

According to recent speeding statistics in Australia, almost half of the country’s fatal vehicle crashes occurred in zones signed above 90km/h. Additionally, 32% of all fatal car accidents happened in 100 km/h zones.

As far as car crashes in major cities are concerned, almost 90% transpired at speeds below 90km/h. On the other hand, remote and remote areas recorded 30% and 16% fatal accidents in under-90 km/h zones, respectively, testifying toward the high-speed limit issue in rural areas.

24. New South Wales suffered 743 casualties in speeding-related crashes in the five years before 2020.

(Centre for Road Safety)

Per the latest speeding statistics in NSW, almost 750 traffic participants were killed in speed-related accidents between 2015 and 2019, while a staggering number of nearly 6,400 people were seriously injured. On average, 41% of road fatalities are the result of excessive speeding.

25. Drunk driving was the main contributing factor in around 30% of fatal accidents in 2016.

(Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety)

The road safety facts of the Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety of Queensland state that more than 1 in 4 motor vehicle operators had a blood-alcohol content higher than the allowed legal drinking limit. Note that the risk of crash casualties doubles when driving with a BAC over 0.05.

26. Over 22,000 drink-driving infractions were registered in 2015.

(Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety)

The Queensland Police Service took around 3.65 million breath tests in 2015, detecting an offence rate of about 0.6%. The majority of these drunk-driving offenders were also recorded as clinical alcoholics.

27. 20% of surveyed drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel at least once.

(ABC News)

During a 2017 sleep study, one-fifth of respondents said they have fallen asleep while driving at least once in their life. Five per cent of all interviewees said they experienced a car accident in Australia due to drowsiness and tiredness. The same survey also found that almost 30% of drivers operate their vehicles while sleepy at least once a month, albeit the results varied broadly across different age groups.

28. Almost 80% of P-platers engaged in some sort of risky driving in 2018.

(Growing Up in Australia)

According to the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, which also offers young drivers statistics in Australia, four-fifths of provisional drivers and 55% of learner motorists 16 to 17 years of age occasionally demonstrated risky driving behaviour. Moreover, at least one in ten teens without a driving licence endangered themselves and others by driving recklessly.

The same study also offers some teenage drunk driving statistics in Australia. For instance, 4% of teenage drivers were under the influence of intoxicating substances while operating their vehicle. Those that consumed alcohol or used drugs were also more likely to exhibit risky driving behaviour.

Car Accident Statistics: World Trends

29. The global road fatality rate equals 18.2 deaths per 100,000 population.

(World Health Organization) (Budget Direct)

Approximately 1.35 million car accident victims are recorded yearly in the world, which amounts to 18.2 casualties per 100,000 people. In comparison, Australia has recorded four times fewer casualties per 100,000 population in 2020/21. Furthermore, another 20 to 50 million people also suffer minor to severe injuries that often result in various disabilities.

30. More than 90% of deaths and injuries from car accidents occur in low and middle-income countries.

(World Health Organization)

According to car accident statistics published by WHO, the African countries suffer the most from road crash accidents. However, even in higher-income countries, people in harsher socioeconomic circumstances are more likely to participate in road accidents.

31. Men are more likely to be involved in car crashes than women.

(World Health Organization)

WHO’s research also reveals that male motorists younger than 25 years comprise almost three-quarters of all car accident death numbers. Male drivers are also three times as likely to die in a road crash than female operators.

32. Road accidents have been the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 worldwide.

(World Health Organization)

Data as recent as February 2020 shows that the main cause of death for children and young adults all around the world are fatal car accidents. WHO plans to include road safety in its agenda for child and adolescent health to address this issue.

Lockdown Impact on Australian Roads

33. The number of fatal car accidents in Australia decreased by 10% during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

(Driverless Vehicle Initiative)

Despite the reduction in traffic congestion of up to 30%, the latest national car accident statistics for 2020 show a minor decrease of 10% in road deaths across the country compared to the average of the three years before 2020. While every Australian jurisdiction recorded a similar reduction in road deaths, Queensland registered an 11% increase.

34. Pedal cyclists are the only road user group that recorded an increase in fatalities during the Covid-19 period.

(Driverless Vehicle Initiative)

The car crash statistics outlined by the 2020 Driverless Vehicle Initiative show an increase of 29% in the number of pedal cyclist fatalities between March and August 2020. Conversely, the remaining road user groups recorded a drop in casualties from 5% among car drivers to 20% among pedestrians.

35. The number of vehicles operating under standard traffic conditions decreased by 28% due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

(Squire Patton Boggs)

According to information provided by the ARRB National Transport Performance Centre, the number of actual vehicles in traffic was subject to a 28% decline during the Covid-19 lockdowns, speculatively due to increased travel efficiency. Moreover, car crash statistics also show a significant reduction in the congestion on the Monash Freeway in Melbourne—between 88% and 95% during weekday peak intervals.

Bottom Line

To decrease the number of fatal car accidents in Australia, the government is enforcing harsh road safety legislation. However, according to the above car accident statistics for 2020, the country’s lawmakers still have much to do toward ensuring safer roads for every traffic user since the number of fatalities resulting from road crashes is yet to decrease.  Therefore, drivers have to closely follow the rules of the road and complete regular vehicle maintenance both for their sake and the sake of others.

Sources:

  1. ABC News
  2. Budget Direct
  3. Budget Direct
  4. Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety
  5. Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety
  6. Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety
  7. Centre for Road Safety
  8. Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
  9. Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
  10. Driverless Vehicle Initiative
  11. Growing Up in Australia
  12. Live Traffic
  13. MDPI
  14. National Road Safety Partnership Program
  15. National Road Safety Strategy
  16. Queensland University of Technology
  17. RoyalAuto
  18. Squire Patton Boggs
  19. Statista
  20. Statista
  21. World Health Organization

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close Bitnami banner
Bitnami