The Monash Freeway and Western Ring Rd are Victoria’s most extreme danger zones, with the two roads responsible for more than a quarter of crashes on the state’s freeway network. New statistics obtained by the Herald Sun reveal there have been more than 1300 crashes on the two roads between 2014 and 2018, resulting in 15 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries.
Crashes were more common on the Monash than any other freeway, but the Western Ring Rd was responsible for the most lost lives. There were more accidents across the two major roads than on the busy Eastern, Tullamarine and Westgate freeways combined.
The shocking VicRoads figures reveal there are, on average, almost three serious crashes on the Monash weekly. The alarming figures are being fuelled by a combination of high speeds and gridlock. “Traffic congestion can lead to frustration, impatience and road rage, which are all factors that contribute to increased vehicle collisions,” AAMI head of motor claims Anna Cartwright said.
Horror crashes are also leading to thousands of calls for counselling and support by distraught witnesses, those involved in accidents and their loved ones. Road Trauma Support Services chief executive Bernadette Nugent told how they had more than 100 calls after a young male motorcyclist died on the Monash.
“This tragic incident occurred during the peak-hour morning commute, so the freeway was very busy,” she said. “The referrals to our counselling service spiked for that week because many of the witnesses were understandably struggling to come to terms with what they saw. Many witnesses and people who are first on the scene to a serious or fatal collision will experience many normal trauma responses, such as; intrusive thoughts and images of the incident, sleeplessness, horror and helplessness.” The federal and state governments have committed $1 billion to adding lanes to the Monash and Princes freeways. There were 746 crashes recorded on the Monash Freeway from 2014 to the end of 2018, with 212 of those resulting in serious injury and four in death. A person dies on the Western Ring Road at least once per year.