New Statistics on Road Safety

Media Release


15 October 2013

New figures released today by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) show a significant drop in road deaths over the last twelve months.

The latest BITRE Road Deaths Australia bulletin showed that 1,234 people died on our roads in the twelve months to September 2013.  

This is 5.4 per cent lower than for the same period in 2012 of 1,305 deaths, and 16.6 per cent lower than the total five years ago at 1,480.

Despite these encouraging signs, the figures are still stark. There were 83 road deaths in September alone—that is more than five deaths every two days.

While we continue to see ever safer cars and safer roads, being vigilant and acting responsibly on the road will bring down the number of deaths dramatically.

All governments in Australia are committed to the National Road Safety Strategy 2011–2020, which aims to reduce road deaths and serious injuries by at least 30 per cent by the end of this decade.

The Coalition Government is investing some $35 billion to build and improve our transport infrastructure for the 21st Century. 

Furthermore, we will have the BITRE review the economic and social costs of road trauma so we know exactly where we are and where we need to go.

If we all work together on safe roads, safe vehicles and safe road users, this is a record we can continue to beat, not one that slips away. 

BITRE Road Deaths Australia is available at

BITRE Road Deaths Australia—September 2013

Key figures

  • Fatality statistics are current to September 2013.
  • The total for the 12 month period to September 2013 (1,234) is 5.4% lower than for the period to September 2012 (1,305) and % 16.6% lower than the total of five years ago ( 1,480).
  • The smoothed trends over recent years are given below
    • 1 year 5.4% reduction        
    • 3 years 2.9% reduction each year    
    • 5 years 3.8% reduction each year
    • 10 years 3.0% reduction each year
  • Over 5 years, all 3 major categories of crash have fallen in line with the total:
    • Single vehicle crashes down 16.9%
    • Multiple vehicle crashes down 15.7%
    • Pedestrian crashes down 18.7%
  • Over 5 years, all jurisdictions have achieved double digit percentage falls.
  • Analysis by age group shows that falls over the last five years have been strongest for young adults (33% drop for ages 17–25). For ages 0 to 16, the 5-year fall was 21%. In comparison, older ages saw increases: deaths in ages 60-69 increased by 51%, and ages over 70 increased by 4%.
  • Data for heavy truck involvement is current to March 2013. Year ending March 2013 results show an increase of 28% for heavy rigid truck involvement, and a 6% decrease for articulated truck involvement.
  • Analysis by posted speed limit at the location of the crash showed strong reductions in all speed limit categories.
  • Road deaths by population and registration:
per 100,000 population per 10,000 registrations
YE Sep 2008 7.00 0.97
YE Sep 2009 6.90 0.95
YE Sep 2010 6.22 0.85
YE Sep 2011 5.78 0.79
YE Sep 2012 5.77 0.78
YE Sep 2013 5.36 0.72
1 year change -7.1% -7.9%
5 year change -23.5% -25.8%