Regional road safety

Improving safety on regional roads.

Drivers travelling interstate are urged to take care and drive to the conditions following an increased number of deaths on regional roads.

The advice comes after the Australian Road Deaths Database revealed more than two-thirds of the 1146 lives lost on Australian roads occurred in regional areas in 2018.

RACQ Manager Motoring Advice Joel Tucker said the heightened road toll could be partially attributed to motorists having to drive through regional areas to get from one city to another.

“Congestion, lower speed limits and higher road standards with safety features in urban areas can lead to lower crash severity,” Mr Tucker said.

“While there might be more crashes on urban roads, there are more people killed on roads in less populated areas with higher speed limits and less forgiving road designs, including trees that can be hit, culverts and drop-offs which contribute to rollovers.”

Mr Tucker said while all the same road rules apply on regional roads, more care needed to be taken.

“It is important that drivers obey speed limits and lower their speed to suit conditions if needed, especially on unsealed roads,” he said.

“Because roads are often undivided, overtaking also needs to be carefully planned and done safely - particularly when overtaking trucks as this can take considerable time and requires good visibility of oncoming traffic.

“It’s also important to look out for animals and stock on or near the road.”

The Australasian College of Road Safety’s tips for staying safe on rural roads

  • Obey the road rules.
  • Reduce speed to the driving conditions not the speed limit.
  • Be alert for livestock, wildlife and pedestrians.
  • Take breaks.Ensure your vehicle is roadworthy, registered and in good mechanical order.
  • Be mindful of distance and isolation in remote areas.
  • Plan your trip in advance.