Reduced SA road deaths no cause for complacency

30 December, 2022

As 2022 draws to a close, RAA is urging all road users to reflect on the number of lives lost and serious injuries suffered on our roads this year.

While South Australia has recorded a lower number of lives lost so far this year—70 down from 97 in 2021 and 90 in 2020—one life lost is still one too many, and is particularly felt at times like Christmas and New Year by family and friends left behind.

RAA Senior Manager of Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said South Australia was one of only two Australian states where there has been a reduction in road crash fatalities so far in 2022.

“Nationally, we’ve seen a 6.2 per cent increase in road crash fatalities between November 2021 and November 2022 compared with the previous year,” Mr Mountain said.

“While it’s good news that we’ve lost less people on South Australian roads so far this year, we can’t afford to be complacent.” 

He said the aim of the SA Road Safety Strategy is to see a 50 per cent reduction in lives lost and a 30 per cent reduction in serious injuries by 2030.

In addition to those killed on our roads, 688 people have suffered a serious injury—many of whom will never fully recover.

“Factors such as distraction and fatigue are major contributors to crashes, so it is essential we’re well rested, calm and focused when driving or riding,” Mr Mountain said.

“Staying focused behind the wheel is just as vital on short trips as it is for longer journeys.”

Mr Mountain said the Safe System approach to road safety relies on safe drivers, travelling in safe vehicles on safe roads at safe speeds.

“Ongoing investment across the road network is important in ensuring the roads we travel on do not contribute to the likelihood and severity of a crash even when a driver or rider makes a mistake.”

“Of course, as drivers, we should drive the safest vehicle we possibly can, ensure it is correctly maintained and that we drive to the conditions.”

“It would be great to see zero deaths or serious injuries in 2023.”