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Fatalities Are Up. Why?

No apologies for the bluntness of the title. However, I’ll clarify that the following is specific to New South Wales, with information provided courtesy of the NSW Government’s Transport for safety site.

Why this, though? It’s simple. In NSW, the most populous state in Australia, there’s been an unexpected and unwelcome spike in road deaths for 2016 compared to 2015 and what’s called the three year average. Naturally, the road safety organisations, police and government are left scratching their heads as to why. Although it’s been a downward trend, the rise that’s concerning the relevant bodies started in mid 2015.Type of road user

Here’s something that stands out: in NSW, men are twice as likely to die on the roads compared to women with last year’s toll almost exactly the same as the three-year average for men (121 in 2015, 121 on average) and women (56 in 2015, 53 on average). But in 2016 (at the time of writing), it’s 167 men to 54 women. The age breakdown raises eyebrows too. It’s the 40-59 year old age bracket that heads the list. So far in 2016 there’s 65 compared to 49 last year. That’s also 23 and 19 more that the 17-25 year old males for the same time periods. In the 26-39 slot, there’s almost identical numbers, with 37 this year compared to 35 in 2015.Gender breakdown

Unsurprisingly, it’s on country roads where more people have lost their lives. 2015 saw 113 in total, 2016 has already exceeded that, with 142. The three year average before was 118. On suburban roads, the difference is marked: 79 for 2016 versus just 65 for all of 2015. In a look at who, it was the car driver that lead the tragic figures, with 109 this year, against 78 for 2015. Motorcyclists are on an upwards trend, with 31 in 2015 but already 34 in 2016. Frighteningly, there’s already 46 pedestrians listed for 2016. That’s a jump of 14 compared to all of 2015.Type of road user

What isn’t listed is a breakdown of the causal factors, however senior police said: speed, intoxication, fatigue and distraction are consistently key factors of recent fatal accidents: all elements that are a driver’s responsibility. “Out of the five fatalities, four were males; in all five cases, the actions of the driver involved will be the subject of each investigation; in three of these crashes, a vehicle left the road and hit a tree or power pole.”Road death breakdown

“Those speeding, drink or drug driving, not wearing a seat belt or proper helmet, fatigued or distracted, are the ones that continue to put themselves, their passengers, and other innocent road users all at great risk, which continues to cost lives on our roads.”


The bottom line is this: don’t drive like an idiot and use some common sense and courtesy.