Dark day on South Australian roads as lives lost already reaches last year’s total

1 August, 2023

In one of the darkest days on South Australians roads this year, RAA is strongly urging motorists to take more caution on our roads as the number of lives lost reaches last year’s total.

Alarmingly, 71 lives have been lost on our roads this year – equalling last year’s total – with around five months left in the year.   

This is the earliest South Australia has reached 71 lives lost on our roads in a year since 2010.

The lives lost are a result of more than 505 serious crashes so far this year, catching up quickly to last year’s total of 692. More than 504 people have suffered minor or serious injuries in these crashes so far this year.

RAA analysis of SAPOL data shows the breakdown across a range of demographics of the 71 lives lost, including: 

  • 30 on metro roads and 41 were on regional roads,
  • 29 pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists,
  • 26 aged 60 and above,
  • 14 aged between 20 and 29,
  • 20 on regional roads were in single vehicle crashes, and at least 9 in head on crashes,
  • 47 males.

RAA Senior Manager Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said it was alarming how quickly the number of lives lost on SA roads rising this year.

“We’re urging drivers to remember what’s at stake when they get behind the wheel,” Mr Mountain said.

“It is too easy to become complacent, particularly on our daily drives that we may have done many times before.”

“Hazards on our roads can occur and if you are not focussed, the consequences can be horrendous.

“We want drivers to increase their awareness on the road to reflect different driving conditions and to continually monitor road users nearby” Mr Mountain said.

“Drivers should take extra precautions to limit distractions while driving and to always remain in control of their vehicle.

“Almost two thirds of lives lost in metro Adelaide this year have been vulnerable road users, that is, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

“As drivers, it’s critical that we take extra precautions to avoid distractions while driving.

“Please be patient of other road users and take regular breaks when driving regionally to keep alert behind the wheel.

“Slow down and drive to the conditions, taking a few extra minutes along your journey is a lot better than the increased risk of being involved in a serious crash.”

Mr Mountain strongly endorses the Safe System approach which relies on safe drivers, travelling in safe vehicles on safe roads at safe speeds.

“Make sure your vehicle is well maintained and ensure tyres have plenty of tread across the entire width of the tyre. Check all lights are working and your wipers clear the windscreen effectively without leaving smears” Mr Mountain said.

For more on RAA’s road safety initiatives, visit