According to the annual road safety crash data series by the BITRE, in 2021, there were 1,123 road crash deaths. The report also says that there is an increase of 2.6 percent from 2020. While there is a decline in road deaths, hospitalized injuries have increased. Looking at these figures one might wonder what are the most common causes of road accidents in Australia.
There are many causes of road accidents in Australia and the Government is taking all possible measures and introducing new road rules to reduce the number of accidents on the road. Road accidents if severe can take the life of the driver, the passengers in the car, and even others who are using the road at that particular time. Apart from death, accidents can also major or minor injuries and even cause damage to the car and public property.
Looking at the drawbacks of road accidents it is important for drivers to have knowledge about the major cause of road crashes in Australia and to avoid them at any cost. Awareness is the most powerful tool to manage the causes of accidents and to reduce them in number.
In this article, light is thrown on the most common causes of road accidents in Australia. Having knowledge of these causes will help any driver to drive more responsibly and save valuable life as well as property.
Here are the 10 major causes of road crashes in Australia.
1. Over Speeding
Different types of roads are marked with different speed limits. The safe speed of a car on a highway is different when compared to busy and congested roads within a city. Speed limits are marked due for a reason and it is the duty of a responsible driver to follow them. In fact, speeding is one of the main causes of road accidents in Australia.
Speed gives a thrill and this is why drivers feel tempted to drive a car above the speed limit. But this should be avoided even if the road is empty. When you are driving at a high speed controlling the car during an emergency can be difficult. This can ultimately lead to crashes. So, if you are still wondering what is the main cause of car accidents in Australia, always remember to drive within the speed limit.
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2. Road Accidents from Drunk Driving
Another major cause of car accidents is driving under the influence of alcohol. In fact, it is illegal and if caught, the government may even cancel your driving license. Drinking too much alcohol affects your ability to focus and you end up making a wrong decision while operating a vehicle, ultimately leading to accidents. It is very irresponsible for someone to drink and then drive and compromise his/her but safety and the safety of other people too.
This important cause of car accidents is highly preventable and can be avoided. First of all, drink within the permissible legal limit if you are a driver. If you have consumed alcohol more than the legal limit it is recommended to avoid driving at any cost. Take a cab, use a carpool, catch public transport or ask someone else to drive for that day. At the same time, you must avoid getting in a car with an intoxicated driver and try to prevent one from driving.
Apart from alcohol, you must not drive under the influence of drugs. Even certain prescribed medications can be dangerous to use while driving as they can make one dizzy.
3. Failing to Give Way on Perth Roads
When you are on the road, always remember that you are not the only one using it. There are many other people using the same road at the same time. Some will be on their own cars and others on cycles or other two-wheelers. Even pedestrians will be using the road. So, when driving, you need to give way to other cars also. Failing to do so can lead to accidents.
In fact, when you think of what is the most common cause of car accidents in Australia then failing to give way on roads for other people is one of them. When driving there should be some distance between your car and the one in front of you. This helps to give a brake and prevent your car from collisions during an emergency situation.
Driving on the opposite side of a one-way must be avoided as it is also one of the main causes of road accidents in Australia. Accidents also happen when one fails to drive smoothly in the proper lane when making a turn, use turn signals properly, or obey traffic signals. Constantly keep your eyes on traffic signs and give the right indication when making turns.
4. Fatigue and Drowsiness Cause Accidents
Another major cause of car accidents in Australia is driving a car when you are extremely tired or fatigued. In fact, fatigue and tiredness amongst drivers remain a high concern when it comes to safe driving.
It has been found that apart from drunken driving, fatigue and tiredness amongst drivers is a major causes of road crashes in Australia, especially at night.
When you are tired or sleepy it becomes impossible to keep your eyes open and mind alert and this can throw you off balance and make it impossible to have full control of the engine. Some of the signs of fatigue and tiredness are head jolts and drooping eyelids, and if at any point drivers experience these feelings, it is safe to park the car by the road and take a small nap. Before driving you must be well-rested so that you are aware of your surroundings when driving.
Also, avoid driving in a stressed or tense mood as it will only cause distraction and lead to accidents. Try to drive with the right mindset to avoid accidents or collisions.
5. Distracted Driving Can Cause A Car Accident
When the list is prepared about what is the main cause of car accidents in Australia you simply cannot ignore distracted driving. In fact, distracted driving is a major cause of road crashes in Australia and the threat is growing stronger year after year.
Driving is a serious task and you need to remain alert all the time and your focus should only be on the roads. A responsible driver is one who acts with extreme caution all the time till he/she is sitting behind the steering wheel of a vehicle. Distractions of any kind even for a few seconds can be fatal for the driver, other passengers in the cars, and any other person using the road.
Distracted driving, it does mean talking or texting on your smartphone while you are behind the wheel. While talking or texting is of major concern, there are many other causes that can distract a driver. Some of these causes include eating, typing on the GPS system, adjusting the radio, reading, grooming, and applying makeup to name a few.
Also avoid distractions like eating, drinking, applying make-up, and even adjusting the radio while driving. You should limit the number of passengers, as well as the level of activity inside the car. Along with the driver, other passengers in the car must also need to ensure that they are not the cause of any kind of distractions.
6. Car Accidents from Vehicle Defects
Your car is a machine and it needs regular maintenance to run smoothly. But even after proper care and maintenance, your car might have some defects that must be resolved within time. In fact, vehicle defects are one of the common causes of accidents in Australia.
It is true that vehicles go through rigorous testing before they are placed in the showroom for sale, but still defects can be there. So, if you notice any problem in your car, it is better not to ignore it and get it resolved as soon as possible. Regular maintenance is a must and does not make the mistake of delaying it.
Also, before you start your journey, check your car once and make it a habit before each and every journey. You must check your car’s oil tank and if needed fill up your tank. Along with oil also check the fluid level of the car battery, inspect your tire tread, and adjust the seat and mirrors for effective control and comfort.
Always store a roadside survival kit in the cargo area. In the kit, you must have a spare mobile phone, rechargeable battery pack, a small medical box, a spare tire, and emergency tools such as a flashlight, screwdrivers, pliers, and an adjustable spanner.
7. Ignoring Red Lights and Stop Signs
Traffic signals are there for a reason and each and every driver must follow them. In fact, ignoring traffic signals is one of the major causes of road accidents in Australia. Red lights are designed to engineer different traffic conditions and to maintain the flow of traffic and it is the duty of every driver to follow the rules.
It has been found that failing to stop at a red light or stop sign can cause a serious accident. People are in a hurry and end up ignoring the stop sign but always remember that reaching a location in one piece is more important rather than getting involved in an accident and risking your life. Wait for the green and yellow lights to move ahead.
Also, when caught for not stopping at a stop sign or red light, you may have to pay hefty fines as a result and in extreme cases, the driving licence will be canceled. Remember that stopping at a red signal is not a waste of time and fuel, but it is a safe method to avoid accidents. An impulsive red light jump not only puts your life at risk but also the safety of other road users.
8. Avoiding Safety Gear like Seat Belts and Helmets
In Australia, the use of seat belts when driving a four-wheeler and wearing a helmet when riding a two-wheeler is mandatory. Not wearing a seat belt and helmet is a major cause of road crashes in Australia.
Seat belts are designed to reduce serious crash-related injuries and even deaths. Seat belts keep you intact and safe in case of accidents. Even the airbags protect a passenger using a seat belt more as compared to an unbuckled one. Hence, when sitting inside a car, you must wear a seat belt even if you find it uncomfortable. With the help of clips and extenders, you can always customize your fit and make the seat belt more comfortable to wear.
At the same time use of helmets when riding a two-wheeler doubles the chances of survival in a serious accident. In fact, two-wheeler deaths have been drastically reduced after the use of helmets has been made mandatory.
So, if you are still wondering what is the most common cause of car accidents in Australia think twice before not wearing a seat belt.
9. Driving at Night
Poor lighting on the road is a major cause of road accidents in Australia. Statistics show that there are more road accidents at night as compared to during the day time.
You need to be more alert while driving at night due to the use of high beams, especially when driving on a lonely road with no streetlights. High beams from cars coming from opposite directions even cause a lot of problems for a driver.
The government is taking steps to install street lights on both roads and highways so that at night the roads are well lighted. The visibility affects how you drive at night even under the presence of street lights and headlights. Also, as you need to be extra cautious of your surroundings while driving at night, you need to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Even people with poor eyesight must avoid driving at night to avoid accidents. Driving a car with poor vision is not recommended as here it is the question of your safety as well as others on the road.
10. Wrong-Way Driving and Improper and Sharp Turns at Full Speed
One of the common causes of road accidents in Australia is not communicating your intentions to other drivers while driving. The proper indication is essential for road safety and to avoid accidents.
When driving on a busy road, stay alert all the time and be aware of street signs and follow them at any cost. Whether you are taking out the car from a parking area or turning the car to your right or left or simply changing a lane, giving the right signal is a must. In fact, it has been found that accidents on roads happen when people fail to get into the proper lane when making a turn. When making a turn use the right signals properly and obey traffic signals.
Not all drivers are the same and when driving on a busy road you must try to follow what other drivers are trying to indicate. At the same time, you must not choose the wrong way to drive as it will only create confusion amongst other drivers, ultimately leading to accidents.
Road accident is a serious issue and each and everyone should contribute to reducing the numbers. Accidents not only cause damage to a car or public property but can even take a life. Most of the causes of road accidents in Australia can be avoided if drivers take a little precaution. First of all, it is important to learn to drive from a reputed driving school and follow all the road rules and regulations.
Try to be a responsible driver and make the road safe for yourself as well as others.