Shock at highest road toll in eight years

Queensland lost more people on our roads this year than in any other year since 2012, prompting a desperate plea from RACQ for motorists to stay safe behind the wheel.

RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said Queensland was the only State in Australia to record an increase in those who died this year, with 275 people killed in crashes and thousands more hospitalised with serious injuries. 

“These numbers are staggering, especially given COVID-19 which restricted our ability to drive and travel throughout the year,” Ms Hunter said. 

“Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in risky behaviour behaviours like high-range drink driving and high-range speeding. 

“As a society we must never lose sight of the fact that these road toll statistics are human lives lost. That every number has a family and loved ones that have been irrevocably changed.” 

Ms Hunter said with many people still away on road trips for the holidays it remained a high-risk time for crashes.  

“Human error plays a role in about 90 percent of road crashes, which means there are actually steps each of us can take to sure every trip isn’t a deadly one,” she said. 

“Make a commitment in 2021 to remember the Fatal Five every time you get behind the wheel. These are the five most common causes of death of our roads – speeding, drink driving, fatigue, not wearing seatbelts and distraction – and all of them are avoidable.  

“Don’t get behind the wheel if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, always wear your seatbelt and don’t speed.

“If you’re heading away on a road trip take a break every two hours so you’re well-rested and up to the task of driving. 

“With 2020 behind us, we must make 2021 a safer year on Queensland roads.”

Regional breakdown of lives lost, 2020 (Police Region)

Brisbane (North Brisbane, South Brisbane) – 24
Central (Capricornia, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay Burnett) – 89
Northern (Far North QLD, Mount Isa, Townsville) – 56
South Eastern (Gold Coast, Logan) – 42
Southern (Darling Downs, Ipswich, Moreton, South West QLD) – 64.