2017 preliminary crash book: Inattention road deaths increase

The 2017 Preliminary summary of fatalities on Western Australian roads has revealed an increase in the number of people killed in inattention related crashes.

04 Apr 2018
The 2017 Preliminary summary of fatalities on Western Australian roads has revealed an increase in the number of people killed in inattention related crashes.

Acting Road Safety Commissioner Iain Cameron said 28 fatalities (17%) last year were from inattention related crashes.

“That’s more than a 100% increase on the previous five-year average of 13 deaths,” said Mr Cameron.

“This increase has largely been driven by an increase in inattention-related fatalities in the metro area which more than doubled in 2017.

Mobile phone use is getting a lot of publicity and mobile phone use is part of the problem, but it’s much more extensive than that.

When we try to do two things at once we switch in and out of the two tasks and driving is too challenging to do that, particularly in urban areas where there is a lot happening.”
Inattention-related fatalities in the metro area more than doubled in 2017.
The preliminary figures show an over-representation of regional road deaths with 91 people killed on country roads last year, compared to 70 road deaths in the metro area.

“Over the past five years, we’ve seen a gentle, steady decline in the metro area. Still too many, but we’re heading in the right direction,” said Mr Cameron.

“More concerning is regional WA, where it has fluctuated quite significantly over the past five years.”

The most dominant road crash type is single vehicle running off the road, with investments in shoulder sealing and audible edge lines important responses in regional WA.

“Ultimately, the message to people is you’ve got to take care, as people like yourselves are being killed at a rate more than double any other region in WA,” said Mr Cameron.

“The majority of people dying are within their own local government area, it’s local people who know the roads and they are still crashing, so please take extra care.”

A breakdown of the 2017 preliminary crash statistics also shows:
  • One third of fatalities were vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians
  • 81% of those people killed were men
  • Police suspect at least one of four behavioural factors (speed, alcohol, inattention and fatigue) contributed to 102 road deaths.
  • The most represented age group in road fatalities was 20-29 years
  • 22 motor vehicle occupants killed were not wearing seatbelts
  • Of the seven cyclists killed, three were not wearing helmets
The majority of people dying are within their own local government area.
The 2017 Preliminary summary of fatalities (1.5 MB, PDF) on Western Australian roads is available for download.