A $92m a year crash cost

ROAD crashes are smashing at least $92 million a year out of our economy.

In the 13 years to 2013, 138 deaths and 5403 injuries left a $1.2 billion black hole in the Rockhampton-Livingstone region.

The Federal Government's Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics experts say each person killed in a road crash costs the nation $3,180,598.

A person with serious injuries will set us back $316,869 while a patient with minor injuries costs $17,511.

The costs are based on a range of factors including loss of earnings, emergency service response, medical treatment, disability care, property damage and insurance.

An APN Newsdesk analysis of Queensland Government accident data for the Rockhampton and Livingstone council areas over the 13 years shows 138 people died on our roads, 2256 had serious injuries and 3147 were left with minor injuries.

The deaths accounted for $438,922,500, the serious injuries were valued at $714,856,500 and the minor injuries cost $55,107,100.

The overall total was $1,208,886,100 for 13 years or $92,991,200 a year.

The annual financial burden of road accidents to Australia is $27 billion.

Economic Society of Australia's Richard Tooth, who wrote The Cost of Road Crashes: A Review of Key Issues, said reducing the financial impacts of road crashes could be as simple as changing how insurance was regulated.

"I argue the insurance industry could play a major role in reducing road fatalities and injuries if we gave insurers the right incentives," the Sapere Research Group director said.

"In Queensland and most of Australia, the CTP regulations prevent insurers from offering price discounts to encourage safer driving.

"In most developed countries, like the UK, the comprehensive insurance is bundled with the CTP and there is little price regulation.

"That means the high-risk drivers pay a lot more for insurance and the low-risk drivers pay less

"As a result, high-risk drivers can get very large discounts on their insurance by driving safer cars."

Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow said reducing the burden was the council and residents' responsibility.

"Our message is always going to be 'drive safely' and especially in times of heavy rain," she said.

Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said road users and the Queensland Government needed to work together on safety.

"There are many excellent road safety initiatives in place in Queensland, all designed to enhance safety for motorists.

"My aim is to ensure we continue to review and improve their effectiveness," Mr Bailey said.

WHAT IT COSTS

The cost of crashes to the Rockhampton and Livingstone council area economy between 2001 and 2013:

  • FATAL: 138, $438,922,500
  • MAJOR: 2256, $714,856,500
  • MINOR: 3147, $55,107,100
  • TOTAL: $1,208,886,100
  • ANNUAL: $92,991,200


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