couple who has pulled their car to the side of the road with smoke coming from the engine, set against the Perth skyline

Ever wonder about the likelihood or chances of finding yourself in a vehicle accident?

With millions of vehicles on the road and countless factors at play, understanding your risk can be complex.

This aims to clarify the probability of your chances of getting in a car crash, examining factors like driving behaviors and environmental factors, and providing a better understanding of road safety and self-protection strategies.

The Odds of Being in Fatal Accidents

Determining the likelihood of a road traffic incident in Australia involves many factors, such as the volume of traffic and the average distance driven annually. While precise calculations are challenging without the latest comprehensive data, an overarching assessment based on available statistics can offer valuable insights.

According to the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE), recent figures show that annually, road fatalities in Australia range between 1,200 and 1,300. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reports that in the 2021–2022 period, road traffic incidents resulted in about 61,500 hospital admissions, or 240 per 100,000 people. Additionally, the 2020–2021 data reflects around 1,400 fatalities due to road incidents, which translates to 5.4 road deaths per 100,000 people.

These figures account for road deaths, 11% of all injury hospitalizations and 10% of injury-related road deaths nationwide.

If you think about how many people live in Australia (over 25 million) and how many have driver’s licenses, the chance of dying in a car crash for each person is pretty low.

But, if we start talking about the other causes of accidents that don’t kill people but still hurt them or damage the cars, then the chances of causes of car collisions getting into some fatalities in car accident statistics go up.

Notably, males and young people are at a heightened risk across age groups of being involved in these fatalities, with fractures being the most common injury among those hospitalized.

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) says there are hundreds of fatal crashes and thousands of these less serious crashes yearly.

So, while you might not be very likely to get into a deadly crash fatigued driving or driving tired by yourself, the chances of getting in a car fatality or into some accident are more common when fatigued driving by driving tired by others.

Road Safety Database

The International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) is notable for gathering comprehensive information on the main causes of car crashes and road safety measures across 32 countries worldwide.

This resource is valuable for understanding global trends in road accidents and promoting safety.

Each year, they add new stuff to this giant pile of facts that goes back to 1970. And all this info comes directly from the official places in each country that are part of IRTAD.

They ensure everything is organised the same way so you can compare information from different places easily.

The IRTAD database is packed with information about stuff like how many people have died in road accidents here, got hurt, or had to go to the hospital.

It looks at all kinds of injuries, road crashes, serious road crashes, deaths, and incidents on different types of roads and involves different kinds of people.

Regarding what makes car accidents more likely, things like the weather, how the roads are built and looked after, and much more can make a difference.

All these things can make it harder or easier for drivers to stay safe on the road. Getting why these things matter helps us figure out ways to make driving safer and reduce the chances of accidents.

Weather Conditions

Bad weather like rain, snow, fog, and ice can make it super hard to see and make the roads slippery, which causes a lot of car crashes.

Road Design and Maintenance

Having roads designed well and cared for is super important for stopping accidents. Problems like big potholes, signs that aren’t clear, and confusing intersections.

Areas that are too dark can make drivers unsure and cause accidents. Make sure roads are kept in good shape and carefully design them with signs that are easy to read. Roads that are smooth and clear help lower the chance of accidents.

Road Deaths

Environmental and road conditions affect the frequency and leading causes of car accidents and their severity.

Poor conditions can exacerbate the impact of car collisions, leading to more severe injuries and fatalities than most motor vehicle accidents.

For instance, when people drive without paying attention or aggressive driving aggressively. And when there nose to tail crashes that are super fast fatal crashes, or car crashes out on dark country roads at night.

There’s a bigger chance of people not making it compared to fatal car crashes, even on city streets that are taken care of and well-lit.

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Overview of Road Safety in Australia

Regarding the death rate per 100,000 people in 2022, Australia recorded a rate of 4.54, positioning it 18th among 31 countries. The countries with the lowest rates were Norway (2.14), Sweden (2.17), and Iceland (2.39). From 2013 to 2022, Australia saw its fatality rate decrease by 11.4%, while the median rate across OECD countries fell by 20.8%.

Looking at the death rate per 10,000 registered vehicles in 2022, Australia had a rate of 0.57, placing it 13th out of 24 countries with available data.

The countries with the lowest rates in this category were Iceland (0.25), Norway (0.27), and Sweden (0.35). During the decade from 2013 to 2022, Australia’s rate dropped by just more than half, or from more than a third to half a third, to 17.2%, whereas the median rate for OECD countries decreased by more than half to 25.6%.

As for the death rate per 100 million vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) in 2022. Australia had a rate of 0.49, ranking 6th out of 11 nations with available data.

The countries recording the lowest rates were Norway (0.26), Sweden (0.28), and Finland (0.40).

Between 2013 and 2022, Australia experienced a marginal reduction in its fatality rate by 0.6%, while the median rate for OECD countries went down by 8.1%.

There were also some big increases in the number of road deaths from one year to the next across different states and territories.

Over a year, Tasmania experienced a 45.7% increase in road deaths, while the Australian Capital Territory saw a significant 63.6% rise during the same period.

Overhead view of pedestrians and motorcycles at a city crosswalk.

Vulnerable Road Users in Australia

In Australia, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycle riders, and those using mobility devices are classified as vulnerable road users (VRUs). They are at heightened risk while navigating the roads, primarily because they have minimal protection from the forces experienced during crashes.

The increasing popularity of personal mobility devices like e-scooters and e-bikes further expands this category, including those with disabilities and the elderly.

Despite a general decline in road fatalities, data from 2020 and 2018 indicates a disturbing trend of rising serious injuries among motorcycle riders and cyclists, often attributed to a surge in cycling for health and leisure.

Motorcycle riders, in particular, show a disproportionate representation in fatality and serious injury statistics compared to their presence on the road, with a notably higher risk of death per vehicle kilometre travelled.

Pedestrian fatalities, despite being the most vulnerable group, have not seen significant improvement over the past decade, with the majority of accidents occurring in lower-speed zones and often involving light vehicles.

Cyclist fatalities remain consistently high, with no evident reduction over the last decade, highlighting an urgent need for effective interventions to protect VRUs on Australian roads.

Data collected by the National Road Safety Strategy indicate that millions of car accidents happen annually globally, with most accidents underscoring this issue’s widespread nature.

What Age is Most Likely to Get Into Accident?

Most fatalities occur among individuals aged 15 to 64, as per The National Safety Council. Over the past ten years, only the under-5 age group has seen a decrease in death rates, dropping by 6%.

Conversely, death rates have risen across other age groups, with a minimal 2% increase in those aged 75 and older and a significant 37% rise in the 25 to 44 age group.

An interactive chart on the NSC website allows users to delve into these trends more deeply, offering customizable views of death counts and rates across different age groups over selected periods.

Younger drivers often lack experience, leading them to misjudge traffic situations and make mistakes that more seasoned drivers would typically avoid.

They are also more prone to taking risks while distracted driving, such as speeding, driving under the influence, and not wearing seat belts.

Additionally, some younger drivers overestimate their driving abilities and underestimate the dangers of risky and distracted or aggressive driving behaviours.

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The Role of Driver Behavior in Car Incident

Driver behaviour plays a critical role in car collisions and motor vehicle accidents. Significantly influencing the likelihood leading to the cause and severity of these events.

Understanding how individual actions behind the wheel contribute to road safety issues is crucial for developing effective prevention strategies.

Causes of Car Accidents

  • Speeding: Exceeding the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions is a leading cause of serious car accidents and fatal crashes. High speeds reduce the time drivers react to unexpected obstacles or changes in traffic flow, increasing the risk of a crash.
  • Distraction: Distracted driving activities that divert attention from driving. Using a cell phone, eating, or adjusting controls in the car are major contributors to road accidents. Even a few seconds of distraction can lead to a fatal crash.
  • Impaired Driving: When someone drives after drinking alcohol, using drugs, or even taking certain medicines, it messes up their ability to think clearly, move properly, and react quickly. This makes it super risky and a big reason why accidents happen.
  • Aggressive Driving: Following too closely behind another car, zigzagging through traffic, and not paying attention to red lights or stop signs can lead to dangerous situations and cause car accidents.

Man having a problem with his car

What To Do If You Get Into An Accident?

If you find yourself involved in a car incident, it’s important to stay calm and follow these steps to ensure your safety and the safety of others, as well as to handle the situation properly.

Check for Injuries

Immediately check if you or if any passengers in your vehicle are injured. Call emergency services for medical assistance if there are any injuries, remember, some injuries may appear minor but have serious consequences later on.

Move to a Safe Location

If it’s a small accident and nobody is seriously hurt, try to move the cars to the side of the road when you can so you don’t block traffic. Turn on hazard lights to alert other drivers.

Call the Police

It’s important to call the police, especially if there are serious injuries or significant damage. A police report can be crucial for filing insurance claims for personal injuries and for any legal matters.

Exchange Information

Exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance information, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers with the other drivers.

If there are any witnesses, make an effort to collect their contact details, too.

Document the Accident

Take photos of the accident scene, including damage to all vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and road conditions. This record can be essential for filing insurance claims and dealing with legal issues.

Do Not Admit Fault

It’s important to avoid admitting fault at the scene. The determination of fault should be left to the police and insurance companies after they have reviewed all information.

For those worried about the costs of legal representation, look for law firms that offer “No Win, No Fee” arrangements.

This legal limit means you won’t have to pay any legal fees unless your claim is successful, ensuring that financial constraints and legal limits do not hinder your right to legal representation.

Notify Your Insurance Company

The benefit of hiring expert lawyers is you can directly report the road accident back to your insurance company as soon as possible. And provide them with all the necessary information to cooperate with their investigation.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t think you’re injured, seeing a doctor after a serious car accident, is a good idea. Some may be fatal injuries not immediately apparent.

Keep Records

Keep all documents related to them, including the police report, medical bills, contact information of all involved parties, and any correspondence with your insurance company.

Always communicate promptly with your personal injury attorney regarding any legal notices, documents, or actions you have taken or are contemplating.

Consider Legal Advice

If the incident itself involves significant damage, injuries, or potential legal complications, consider consulting with an attorney specialising in car accidents claims to understand your rights and options.

A boy got into accidernt and his father is worried.

Final Thoughts

If you ever end up in an accident, knowing what to do next, like we talked about, can help make things less bad and keep everyone safe.

Also, getting help from a lawyer afterwards can be super helpful in figuring things out.

Organizations like Foyle Legal can provide specialist guidance and support through the complexities of accident claims, helping to protect your rights and secure the serious injury compensation you may be entitled to.

Even though the risk of getting into an on-road car accident can change because of how many car accidents are different things, we should always focus on stopping the causes of the car accidents statistics, accidents, collisions and road accidents ourselves before they happen, getting ready just in case, and knowing what to do.

There are many dangers on the road such as fatigued driving, over the speed limit driving, driving tired, distracted driving. It is important we understand what steps to take if an on road accident does happen. We can help to make the roads safer for everybody.



At Foyle Legal, we prioritize reliable and trustworthy information from leading authorities. Our content is based on peer-reviewed research, top academic institutions, respected journals, up-to-date laws and regulations, and validated government data. We also consider authoritative public opinion when relevant.

We avoid lower-quality references and list our sources in a dedicated section for each blog post, complete with publication details and direct links for easy verification.

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Christian Foyle best injury compensation lawyers Perth for workers comp and personal injury claims

Christian Foyle, founder and director of Foyle Legal - one of the top-rated personal injury law firms in Perth, Western Australia. Christian has been named one of the best compensation lawyers, leading workers' lawyers, and recommended public liability lawyers in WA. Born and raised in Western Australia, his mission is to bring social justice to those injured in accidents that are not their fault. Christian helps injured people seek fair compensation with a No Win, No Fee solution. Follow him on TikTok and LinkedIn.

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