Stakes are higher for cyclists - 40.7% of incidents involving cyclists result in serious injury or death. You can reduce your risks on the road by staying alert to choosing a safer route and dressing for visibility so road users can see you better.
Over a third of incidents involving motorcycle riders do not involve any other vehicles, but result from rider error. Two key challenges riders face are misjudging braking or cornering. While it may be tempting to choose your 'dream bike', riders often overestimate the right sort of motorbike that suits their needs, or the power they can handle in relation to their size, weight, strength and experience.
A high number of traffic incidents involving trucks and heavy vehicles result from rear-end collisions. You can reduce your risk by keeping a safe distance behind vehicles in front, so that if they suddenly brake, you'll have enough time to react and slow to a stop.
As a 20-29 year old, you're in the highest risk age group on our roads. While your age group accounts for only 14% of WA's population, 20-29 year olds made up 25% of fatalities last year, with speed and inattention being the biggest causes.
Driving tired is one of the most dangerous causes of road crashes, particularly in rural areas. In WA, 87% of fatigue related crashes occur on regional roads – a major cause being long distances travelled and long stretches of unchanging road contributing to driver's losing focus and drifting off. To combat this, take regular rest and stretch breaks, switch drivers when possible, and get at least 7 and a half hours sleep before you drive.
Males are over-represented in fatalities and serious injuries, making up 75% of the fatalities last year. Speed and inattention are the two biggest causes that lead to males having a higher risk.
Did you know that you are 4 times more likely to have a crash if you use your mobile phone while driving? And that last year, primary risk taking behaviour such as drink driving, speeding, or not wearing a seatbelt caused 27% of road fatalities and serious injuries on our roads? Finally, non-primary risk taking behaviours such as fatigue, making a mistake or an error in judgement accounted for 73% of road fatalities and serious injuries on our road. So if you're driving, let that be the only thing you are doing.
As a new driver you've got so much to think about - from what's happening inside your car to what's happening out on the road. One benefit of being a novice driver is that you're likely to be more attentive, even if not as skilled. Being restricted to certain roads, limited driving at night and zero tolerance to alcohol also protect you from harm on the road. In fact, your risk profile for fatalities and serious injuries is actually lower than 20-50 year olds. Finally remember that as your on road experience increases, so does your ability to pre-empt dangerous situations.
With a 5-star rated car you're giving yourself the best chance to stay protected on the road and also making the roads safer for other road users.
It's a myth that buying a safer car means buying a more expensive car. Currently, 63% of cars owned by 17-25 year old metropolitan drivers are rated 1-3 stars - a figure that needs to change. It's important for parents to prioritise safety features when helping their children select a first car and to buy the safest car you can afford. The safest vehicle in each class will reduce serious injuries by up to 40%, and you'll find the used car safety guide in the resources section of this site.
While newer doesn't necessarily mean 'safer', you're better protected in a new car. The average age of vehicles involved in fatal metro crashes is 12 years old, with the fatality rate risk four times higher for people driving older cars.
While newer doesn't necessarily mean 'safer', each new year brings advances to safety features such as lane departure warnings and blindspot monitoring. The average age of vehicles involved in fatal metro crashes is 12.9 years old, and 15 years old for regional, with the fatality rate four times higher in an older vehicle. So remember, it's a myth that buying a safer car means buying a more expensive car and you can find 4 and 5-star options within each class and price range.
It's a myth that buying a safer car means buying a more expensive car. If everyone bought the safest vehicle in its class - including used cars - safety across Australia would improve by 25%. Meanwhile, if all new vehicles had similar safety features to the safest vehicle in their class, deaths and serious injuries could be reduced by up to 40%.
Your vehicle is your workplace, so it should be as safe as can be. We're pushing to advocate businesses that manage fleet vehicles to choose the highest ANCAP safety rating possible and replacing fleet vehicles every 5 years to stay on top of technological improvements. Some of the latest trucks now come standard with innovative fatigue-monitoring systems such as wearables and smartphone-based tests, which could pave the way for more personalised hours-of-service regulations and alert drivers who show significant signs of fatigue.
There's not much built in to protect you on a bike, but in the instance of a crash, simply wearing a helmet can save your life. Two of the five cyclists killed in 2018 were not wearing a helmet at the time of crash.
The most important safety mechanism in a motorbike is an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), which is what allows you to apply the brakes with force, without the wheels locking up and control being lost. Statistics show that ABS assists in 93% of crash situations.
Another thing to consider is your power-to-weight ratio - as it increases, so too does your risk of serious injury. For example, a 200 cc motorcycle was estimated to have ten times the odds of an injury crash than a 100 cc motorcycle. Touring motorcycles present the lowest risk of serious or fatal injury in an injury crash. Touring and off-road types were significantly less likely to be involved in an injury or serious injury crash relative to all other types of motorbikes.
While you don't wear a seatbelt, our public trains and buses have a solid safety record and are about as safe as you can get. Transperth and TransWA run 5-star rated buses and coaches connecting 240 locations across WA.
Be extra alert to other vehicles as you approach intersections - 42.4% of incidents involving bicycles in WA are right-angle crashes at intersections. Another place to be alert is when overtaking or around car parks, with 11.5% of crashes being rear end impacts that mostly involve parking or overtaking.
Most motorcyclist fatalities last year were in metropolitan Perth (55%), with 97% of these being male riders and 28% of those aged 30 to 39.
Today's vehicles are designed with primary safety technologies that prevent crashes from occurring in the first place. These include electronic stability control (ESC), lane departure warning systems, automated emergency braking (AEB) and secondary safety features, like crumple zones, that reduce impact and harm to you in the event of a crash. It's also important to remember that vehicle safety has little to do with the size, class or cost of your vehicle, and that there are 4 and 5-star options within each class and price range.
As a pedestrian, it might surprised you to learn that 73% of road incidents that result in life threatening or fatal injuries happen outside of intersections - so keep yourself safe by crossing at designated cross walks. Another place to be alert is walking alongside houses, with 4.2% of serious injuries for pedestrians being caused by driveway crashes.
24% of people killed or seriously injured on regional roads between 2013 and 2017 was a result of a single vehicle run-off-road or non-collision rollover. WA’s vast regional and remote road network contains unsealed roads, long straight sections, and roadside trees (and other objects) all increase risks for road users.
Road safety treatments such as shoulder sealing and audible edge lining (rumble strips) are being applied on country roads and more recently, wide centre lines have been introduced.
Intersections are the most dangerous road scenario in the metro area - that's where 51% of fatalities and serious injuries occur. The survivable speed for side-on intersection impacts is 50km/h - lower than most people would expect!
WA’s road network is made up of 129,159km of local roads, 13,399km of State roads and 5,115km of National Land Transport Routes. While there are many roads, there are even more factors in place to keep road users safe. These include factors to prevent or reduce the severity of crashes, such as audible edging, lane design, quality signage and lighting, sealed roads and flexible barriers.
Smart, safe roads also separate pedestrians and bike riders from heavy vehicles to protect these vulnerable road users. Road treatments such as speed bumps and slow points play an important role in reducing speeds in areas where road users often go too fast. Furthermore, safer intersection design, such as introducing roundabouts provides an efficient flow of traffic and reduces dangerous right angle impacts.
Males are over-represented in fatalities and serious injuries, making up 75% of fatalities in 2019. However, this is a statistic you can help change.
Bike riders are some of our most vulnerable road users, with evidence showing that intersections are of particular concern. In fact, 42.4% of incidents involving bicycles in WA are right-angle crashes at intersections, but you can decrease your risk by thinking carefully about the speed limits on roads you chose to ride on and whether the potential convenience of the road outweighs the risk.
73% of serious or fatal injuries to pedestrians occur when they’re walking occur outside of intersections with designated areas to cross - so keep yourself safe by crossing at marked cross walks. Another place to be alert is walking alongside houses, with 4.2% of serious injuries for pedestrians being caused by driveway crashes.
It's a common myth that serious injuries or deaths only occur at very high speeds. While metro areas have fewer high-speed crashes than regional areas, the majority of crashes that result in death and serious injury occur on roads where the posted speed limit is 60km/h, followed by 50km/h.
Speed limits are designed around the maximum impact speed our bodies can survive in a crash. However, this depends greatly on environment. For example, if you were to crash while travelling at 70km/h head on into a tree, survivability is low. This is why regional and remote towns over index in serious road incidents. Road statistics show that 46.9% of people killed or seriously injured in regional WA occurred on roads with 110 km/h speed zones.
Speed limits are designed around the maximum impact speed our bodies can survive in a crash. For example, limits are lower in built up areas and near schools because pedestrians and cyclists are more vulnerable. Last year, 32% of fatalities on our roads were from speed related crashes, with 47% in 110km/h zones, followed by 12% in both 70km/h and 60km/h zones.