Centre for Road Safety

Roads busier, but safer

The number of road deaths per 100,000 population in NSW has dropped over the past four decades, from 28.9 in 1970 to 4.1 in 2014.

The latest figures are the lowest since records began early last century, when in 1908 there were 7.6 deaths per 100,000 population. NSW roads have become much busier. From about 4000 registered motor vehicles in 1910, our roads carried about 5 million motor vehicles in 2013.

Since the start of random breath testing in 1982, road deaths per 100,000 population have dropped from about 23 to 4.1 in 2014.

More data

Data sources

Fatality rate data sourced from Dr JW Knott - Road traffic accidents in New South Wales, 1881-1991. Australian Economic History Review 1994; 34: 80-116; and NSW Transport authorities.