What caused the most number of fatal crashes in 2021?

4 January, 2022

New figures have revealed which factors contributed to the fatal crashes on South Australian roads last year.

The SA Police data shows distraction was the leading cause, contributing to 46 of the 99 deaths in 2021. Distraction can include using a mobile phone, as well as things like changing navigation settings, talking to passengers and eating or drinking.

RAA Senior Manager Safety & Infrastructure Charles Mountain said the findings highlighted the need for drivers to stay vigilant and avoid complacency.

“It is so important that when we get behind the wheel or go for a ride that we are focussed on what we are doing, aware of our environment and ride or drive to keep ourselves and other road users safe,” Mr Mountain said.   

View the full breakdown of contributing factors below.

Contributing factor*Deaths attributed
Excessive speed30
Not wearing a seatbelt13 (of a possible 62)
Dangerous behaviour18
*In crashes where more than one contributing factor was identified, both are included.

Also underlining the importance of paying attention on the road were other SA Police statistics, which show the number of people seriously injured on South Australian roads last year was the highest it had been in a decade.

The data shows 865 serious injuries occurred on the state’s roads, the highest number since 2011.

Mr Mountain pleaded with drivers to make 2022 the year these trends were reversed.

“We have never had a month when there hasn’t been at least 2 lives lost on our roads.

“In January 2021, eight people didn’t get a chance to see the rest of the year – it would be great if January 2022 was the month when we didn’t see a single life lost on SA Roads.”

To learn more about RAA’s road safety initiatives, visit