Published: 10 August 2017
Author: Dan McGlade

Road trauma data provides insights for rural drivers

Sadly, local clients who have experienced road trauma become part of every day life when working in a law firm in regional Victoria.

Some clients call us to visit from their hospital bedside, and others visit us when they have started to heal physically and the financial impact is taking hold on them and their family.

The latest statistics from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) reveal that in 2016, 252 people lost their lives on the roads, which was 15.5% lower than in 2015 when 291 people died.

In 2017 up until 8 August, the road toll continues to decrease with a 148 tally, compared with 178 fatalities at the same time in 2016.

The 2017 statistics reveal:

  • 85 people died in rural Victoria compared with 62 in Melbourne, which is only a 4 per cent decrease in rural areas since 2016 compared with a 30% decrease in Melbourne
  • 42 women died compared with 106 men
  • The age group most at risk is 70 and over, followed by the 40-49 year olds
  • The highest risk group are drivers making up 79 of the road toll, followed by passengers (23), pedestrians (18), motorcyclists (21) and bicyclists (7)
  • Deaths occurred mostly on rural roads – with 88 fatalities, followed by urban Melbourne (47), provincial cities and towns (12) and small towns/ hamlets (1).

So what is happening on our rural roads?

When reviewing ‘Searchable road trauma statistics’ on the TAC website, the rural statistics reveal that in the 12 months from 8 August 2016 to 8 August 2017:

  • There were 147 fatalities in rural Victoria, of which 45 were female and 102 were male
  • 28 fatalities were aged 70+, 24 were aged 40-49, and 30 were aged 30-39
  • The most lethal types of accidents are running off a straight road with 42 fatalities, opposing  direction with a road toll of 31, followed by running off a road on a curve resulted in 27 fatalities
  • The most accidents occur on a Friday from 6-8pm.

The rural crash data in relation to hospitalisation is equally alarming in the same time frame. It shows:

  • There were 2,977 claims involving hospitalisation
  • There were 2,580 patients in hospital for 14 days or less, and 397 were there for longer than 14 days
  • Of those hospitalised, 1270 were female compared with 1699 males
  • Of the road users, drivers are more likely to be hospitalised, followed by motorcyclists, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists
  • The most common known accident for patients is running off a straight road, then a same direction accident, followed by an adjacent direction incident
  • The most common date and time for an accident is on a Thursday from 12-6pm.

We decided to see how the road trauma statistics compare between regions where there is a Stringer Clark office.

  Fatalaties in last 12 months Claims involving hospitalisations in last 12 months
Ballarat 2 48
Warrnambool 0 14
Horsham 4 13
Colac - Otway 3 10
Ararat 1 10

Statistics related specifically to Portland, Hamilton and Cobden were unavailable on the TAC site.

How can a lawyer help?

Stringer Clark offers expert advice on all the major types of injury and compensation law, including workplace injury, car accident and other types of road injury, and injuries that occur in public places.

When dealing with a major trauma, it pays to have a professional fighting for your rights and in your corner for the journey. Call 1800 641 743 for a free initial consultation with your local Stringer Clark lawyer today.

Meanwhile, we urge everyone to be safe on our roads.

Categories Regional Victoria, TAC

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