Road fatalities in Australia are on the rise

Peter Terlato 16 August 2016

Storm Road Australia

But passenger deaths have been decreasing in recent years.

Road deaths in Australia have been rising progressively, and while there have been substantial increases in the number of drivers killed in crashes, passenger deaths have been gradually decreasing over the last few years.

The latest road death statistics, released by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) reveal there were 120 road deaths in July 2016, 26.8% higher than the same period five years ago.

Over the last year, there were 1,292 deaths on Aussie roads. This represents a 10.3% year-on-year rise since July 2015.

The annual death rate stands at 5.4 per 100,000 people, an 8.8% rise since June 2015.

The number of pedestrian (+14.5%), motorcyclist (+13.8%) and bicyclist (+6.3%) deaths all increased year-on-year in July 2016.

In the 12 months to July 2016 there was also a 17.1% year-on-year rise in the number of drivers killed in road accidents. Since July 2012, driver deaths have risen 12.9%.

However, there's been a steady decrease over the last four years in the number of passenger deaths, from 268 in 2012 to 222 in 2016. In the last 12 months alone, there's been a 7.9% reduction in the number of passenger deaths, contributing to an annually declining trend of around 4% per year for the last four years.

Deaths of people aged between 0-16 has been falling dramatically over the last five years at a rate of 7.9% each year. Between July 2015 and July 2016, there was a 15.7% decrease in the number of young people killed in road accidents.

There was a 24.4% rise in the deaths of those aged 40-64 in the 12 months to July 2016.

Western Australia (+280%), Victoria (+44.4%) and the Northern Territory (+25%) recorded the highest number of road deaths over the last year, while Tasmania witnessed the biggest decrease (-66.7%).

Last month, BITRE revealed the number of fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles in Australia have decreased dramatically over the last decade.

If you've been involved in a car accident, follow our step-by-step guide for what to do and who to contact.

Picture: Shutterstock

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