The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of Victoria’s road fatalities and serious injuries, highlighting key changes and emerging trends. The report focuses on the people, activities and situations relating to road trauma and is not an analysis of responsibility.

Some Key Findings

Overall fatalities

  • There were 252 deaths on Victoria’s roads in 2015 – 4 more than in 2014 and 9 more than our lowest year in 2013. The road toll has now risen for two years in a row.
  • Victoria has set a 20% target of fewer than 200 deaths per year by 2020. If the trend for the last 2 years continues, we will not achieve this target.
  • The rate of fatalities per 100,000 population, per 10,000 vehicles and 100 million vehicle kilometres travelled has plateaued over the last three year.

Country versus Melbourne

  • Country deaths (136) continue to be higher than in metropolitan Melbourne (116).

Lane departure crashes

  • In 2015, 25 more fatalities resulted from vehicles leaving their lane and running off the road or hitting an oncoming vehicle. The majority of lane departure fatalities occur on roads in rural and outer urban areas.
  • Ninety-seven lives lost on country roads involved lane departure by the vehicle – this is three out of four lives lost on country roads.
  • Police assessment at the crash scene suggests that around 30% involve alcohol or drugs and 27% involve speeding.
  • Across Victoria, 146 (58%) deaths involved lane departure by a vehicle.

Young drivers and passengers

  • Ten more young drivers (18 to 20 years) and seven more young passengers (16 to 17 years) died on our roads in 2015 compared to 2014, and all but one of the young passengers died in vehicles driven by drivers aged 17 to 22. Many of these fatalities involved lane departure collisions, and occurred on weekends and on outer urban and rural roads.
  • In contrast, seven fewer 21 to 25 year old drivers were killed in 2015.

Unprotected road users

  • Pedestrian deaths were 11 fewer in 2015 compared to 2014, and 5 fewer than the 3 year average.
  • Motorcycle and cyclist fatalities remained stable.

Serious injuries

  • There were 4951 serious injuries for the 12 months ending June 2015. This was 247 (5%) less than the 5198 in the 12 months to June 2014.
  • The rate of serious injuries fell slightly relative to population, vehicles and kilometres travelled.
  • Serious injuries reduced across most groups of road users:
    • 4% fewer drivers, 8% fewer young drivers (18-20 years), 15% fewer older drivers (75 years or older),
    • 7% fewer passengers, 27% fewer young passengers,
    • 13% fewer motorcyclists, 9% fewer pedestrians and similar serious injuries for bicyclists.