RACQ calls to reduce $30bn road toll

RACQ calls to reduce $30bn road toll | Insurance Business

RACQ calls to reduce $30bn road toll
RACQ has called on the federal government to swiftly act to reduce the surge in road trauma, which according to the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) costs the Australian economy $30bn annually.

Steve Spalding, RACQ's head of technical and safety policy, said figures from the AAA, the peak organisation representing Australia's motoring clubs, showed that despite a drop in fatalities, the number of 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,” Spalding said. “While the number of fatalities fell by 25% between 2006 and 2015, hospitalised injuries jumped by 22% during that same period. This significantly impacts the economy, with each road fatality costing us $4.34m, while the cost of each hospitalisation is $239,000.”

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

“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.”

And while there is no “silver bullet” to reducing the road toll, Spaldin said “meaningful leadership and investment from all levels of government ... can reverse the human cost of road trauma in Australia.”

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