TAC admits mistakes causes most crashes, not speed

New research by Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC) research reveals the overwhelming number of car crashes on the state’s roads are caused by simple mistakes rather than speeding.

Analysis of TAC data shows that, in 2020 alone, 146 (71 per cent) of road deaths involved a basic error, as opposed to high-risk behaviours such as speeding, drink-driving and drug-driving.

The new data shows that tragic errors have played a role in around 70 per cent of road deaths since 2017.

So far in 2021, 128 people have lost their lives on the roads, compared with 130 at the same time last year. Of the deaths this year, 66 have been on regional roads, down from 74 last year, and 62 on metro roads, up from 55.

The TAC said the Victorian Government’s Road Safety Strategy 2021 – 2030 has been developed to address risk-taking behaviour and to protect all road users from the inadvertent errors drivers can make when using the road.

“There is a common misconception that it’s people that take risks who are involved in fatal crashes – it’s not, anyone can be involved in an accident regardless of their experience on our roads,” said Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Ben Carroll.

“Anything can happen at any time on the roads – and as more Victorians return to our roads, we’re reminding them to stay distraction free, [buy] the safest car [they] can afford and [stick] within the speed limit [so] we can make every journey a safe one.”

CEO of the Transport Accident Commission, Joe Calafiore, said there are too many senseless deaths and serious injuries as a result of a simple mistake. “We are asking Victorians to accept that we face risks every time we drive, and we all have a responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe.”


2020 – 146 mistakes out of 205 fatalities = 71.2 per cent

2019 – 171 mistakes out of 249 fatalities = 69 per cent

2018 – 123 mistakes out of 177 fatalities = 68.7 per cent

2017 – 160 mistakes out of 229 fatalities = 69.5 per cent

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