RAA’s winter warning for all road users

1 June, 2023

RAA is urging South Australians to show care this winter, as crash data shows an alarming spike in crashes involving our most vulnerable road users during the mid-year months.

Crash statistics analysed by RAA reveal that the number of fatal and serious pedestrian crashes in metropolitan Adelaide spikes by 47 per cent in winter when compared with the rest of the year.

RAA Senior Manager Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said the warning was timely because already in 2023, eight pedestrians have lost their lives on SA roads compared with just three at this time last year.

“Our winter warning comes amid an alarming number of fatal and serious injury crashes occurring on South Australian roads in 2023,” Mr Mountain said.

“We’re reminding all road users that the winter months bring some extra challenges to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians as the hours of daylight reduce, and wet and foggy conditions mean less visibility.

“Our analysis of crash data shows this leads to pedestrians being particularly vulnerable at this time of year – with almost a 50 per cent jump in pedestrian crashes in metro Adelaide during winter.”

Mr Mountain also warned regional drivers that when roads are wet there is an increased risk of single-vehicle-run-off-road crashes, which are more likely to have catastrophic consequences.

“In regional South Australia when roads are wet, single-vehicle-run-off-road crashes account for 59 per cent of all crashes, compared with only 45 per cent in dry conditions.

“This is something to be aware of because single-vehicle-run-off-road crashes are more likely to lead to fatalities and serious injuries than other crash types.

“So it is vital that we drive to the conditions at all times, and ensure we’re not distracted behind the wheel.”

Mr Mountain said drivers, cyclists and pedestrians could all take simple steps to reduce their risk of a crash.

“Drivers need to be able to see and be seen, so ensure your lights are on when conditions are dull, wet or foggy.

“It’s important to remember the speed limit is the maximum speed permitted in ideal conditions – so reducing your speed in poor visibility conditions could be the difference between arriving safely and being involved in a crash.

“Cyclists can play their part by wearing high-visibility clothing and ensuring their lights are working, so they can also be seen from a distance.

“Pedestrians should be vigilant and stay a safe distance from the road wherever possible.

“At pedestrian crossings, check that all traffic has stopped before stepping onto the road and, where possible, make eye contact with driver so that they are aware that you’re about to cross.

“Above all, make sure you’re focused on the task at hand whenever you’re sharing the road with others.”