How COVID-19 has impacted road safety in Queensland

For many Queenslanders, the global pandemic meant working from home resulting in substantially less time in peak-hour traffic, less time travelling to and from kids’ activities, and less time in the car overall.  It wouldn’t be a leap to assume that with 30% less traffic on the roads from March to August 2020, there would have been a significant decrease in car accidents. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. While fatal crashes declined by 10% nationally, in Queensland, road fatalities increased dramatically by 18% compared to 2019 data. It’s important to note that while the pandemic is likely a major contributor to the data, there are always other factors to consider.

Increase in Cyclist Fatalities

One of the most shocking statistics from 2020 road accidents was the increase in cyclist fatalities on the road by a staggering 29%. Compared to international cities around the world, Queensland roads are only catching up when it comes to making them safe and effective for cyclists to use. What’s more, the lack of patience and tolerance from motorists has not improved and 80% of accidents involving bicycle riders and motor vehicles are typically the fault of the motorist.

Drink Driving

The effect of COVID-19 on road safety was not what any of us expected and much like the various other global ‘side-effects’ of the pandemic. In the early stages of the pandemic hitting Aussie shores, there was uncertainty relating to an increase in alcohol sales around Queensland and the country and what this would mean for mental health and personal safety. An interesting finding perhaps occurring as a result of suspending random breath tests (RBT) due to the potential spread of COVID was that RBT’s have actually been effective in acting as an effective general deterrent for drink driving. In conjunction with the data above relating to the increase in accidents in QLD, of the crash fatalities, 23% involved a drink driver or rider.

Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

All in all, what should’ve been a decrease in personal injuries, fatalities, and accidents around the country, turned out to be anything but. With relatively high and consistent numbers surfacing year-on-year when it comes to bicycle accidents on our roads, there could be confusion when it comes to making a personal injury claim as cyclists in cases like these. It’s difficult to provide a clear answer when assessing any potential claim for compensation for a person involved in an accident without the finer details but if you have recently sustained an injury from a cycling accident on the roads, there is a possibility you may be eligible to claim for:

  • Current and ongoing medical, hospital, treatment or rehabilitation, and medication expenses
  • Loss of income, past and future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Carer’s assistance needed at home (paid or unpaid)

COVID-19 has been a reminder to all of us that our health is a top priority. The related data presents interesting, and somewhat concerning facts and figures surrounding road safety and cyclists in particular. Read more about bicycle accident compensation claims here or get in touch to find out how Gouldson can help.