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A Mixed Bag: Big Difference in Crash Statistics Between States

4 minute read

As we head into the second half of 2022 and with school holidays approaching, we thought it would be a good time to check in and see what’s happened with road deaths so far this year.

The latest data, released in May, shows that we have recorded just under 500 road fatalities in the first five months of 2022 (data not including Northern Territory) which exceeds the 452 deaths for the same period in 2021. This is nearly 500 families who will live with the trauma of losing a loved one for the rest of their life in just the first half of the year.

Let’s break down the data and take a look at each state.

Western Australia

There has been a total of 71 road fatalities in Western Australia in the year-to-date period ending July 1 this year. This is a decrease from the same period in 2021, which recorded 85 road deaths.

Of these 71 fatalities, 50 occurred in regional areas, and 21 in metropolitan areas. Both the number of fatalities on regional roads and metropolitan areas decreased from 56 deaths and 29 deaths in 2021, respectively.

Australian Capital Territory

In the Australian Capital Territory, 10 road deaths have been recorded since the beginning of this year till July 1. This is above the 5-year average based on a full calendar year despite only six months having passed this year.

A total of 11 lives were lost in 2021 meaning that at this rate, 2022 will see a stark increase in road deaths again for the second year in a row.  

New South Wales

As of June 30, New South Wales recorded a total of 157 deaths in 2022, an increase of 16 lives lost from the same period last year. This is also slightly higher than the 3-year average from 2019-2021.

The 70+ age group recorded the most road deaths, with 42 lives lost. This was followed by the 60-69 age group and then the 50-59 age group. While the number of metropolitan fatalities stayed the same from the same period in 2021, deaths on rural roads increased.


As of June 30, 2022, 126 road deaths were recorded in Victoria. This is 19 more deaths than the same period in 2021.

Bicyclists, pedestrian and passenger deaths have increased greatly since the same period last year while driver deaths saw a slight drop. The age group of 18-20 saw an increase of over 300% number of deaths and road fatalities in small towns/hamlets, rural roads and urban Melbourne went up.

South Australia

As of June 29, South Australia recorded 39 road deaths in 2022 – a significant decrease from the same period in 2021. Of these 39 road deaths, 18 were drivers of light vehicles and seven were motorcyclists.

The 40-49 age group recorded the most lives lost, followed by the 16-19 and age group where five young lives were lost. Of the recorded road deaths this year, nearly two in three happened on rural roads and over 85% of deaths were males.


From the beginning of the year till 26 June 2022, there were 151 road fatalities recorded in Queensland. This is 19 fatalities greater than the same period in 2021 and 37 fatalities greater than the previous five-year average for the same period.

Of the recorded deaths this year, more than half were drivers. The number of pedestrian deaths also increased while there were zero recorded bicycle rider and pillion deaths, a first since 2017.

Northern Territory

As of May 25, 2022, the Northern Territory recorded 26 road deaths. This is more than the number of road deaths in the first half of 2021 and the previous five-year average.

February and May saw the highest number of lives lost and of the four recorded key contributing factors listed, speed contributed to 10 fatalities this year while ‘seatbelt fitted not worn’ was recorded as a factor in at least seven fatalities. Of these fatal crashes, seven happened in the Litchfield area.


In a media release from May, it was revealed that there had been 26 deaths from the beginning of the year till 11 May 2022. This is more than double the number of deaths compared to the same time last year. At this rate, Tasmania is predicted to exceed the number of road deaths in 2021.

Of the 20 deaths recorded in the latest nationwide road deaths database, updated in April 2022, eight road deaths were vehicle drivers and six were motorcycle riders. Six of these fatalities were in multiple-vehicle collisions while 14 were in single-vehicle collisions.


Please note that the data collected is accurate on the date collected (1st July 2022) and is comprised of preliminary data as released by the respective government sites.

Sources: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11)

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