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Govt must act on $30billion road trauma blow out

The State’s peak motoring body has called for swift action to reduce the surge in road trauma, which costs the Australian economy $30 billion annually.

Car crash in urban street with black car

RACQ’s Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said figures from the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) revealed while the number of fatalities had fallen, injuries and hospitalisations continued to rise.

“Tragically, more than 100 Australians die in road crashes every month, and the same number are seriously injured each day,” Mr Spalding said.

“While the number of fatalities fell by 25 percent between 2006 and 2015, hospitalised injuries jumped by 22 percent during that same period.

“This significantly impacts the economy, with each road fatality costing us $4.34 million, while the cost of each hospitalisation is $239,000.”

Mr Spalding said the cost of road trauma would continue to skyrocket unless drastic action was taken.

“We can’t continue to ignore the incredible cost for those people who survive crashes, but are often left with permanent injuries,” he said.

“Of the 37,964 people hospitalised as a result of a road crash in 2015, more than 4,400 were left with a lasting disability.

“We’re calling on the Federal Government to get serious about road safety and channel the necessary resources into a range of strategies to reduce the impact of road trauma.”

Mr Spalding said RACQ backed the AAA’s calls for improved data collection from police and medical staff to ensure emerging trends are recognised and acted on swiftly.

“The reality is there’s no silver bullet to reduce the road toll, but with meaningful leadership and investment from all levels of government we can reverse the human cost of road trauma in Australia.”