Run-off-road crashes are the single biggest cause of deaths on Victoria’s country roads, according to 2017 road trauma figures.

Released by the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and VicRoads, the data shows that of the 155 people who died on Victoria’s rural roads last year, 109 were involved in a crash where a vehicle left its lane. Single-vehicle crashes on the roadside were responsible for the loss of 72 lives and head-on collisions resulted in 37 deaths.

“Drivers on country roads are four times more likely to be killed on our roads than drivers in the city,” said Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan. “It’s simply unacceptable – that’s why we’re investing more than $1 billion to make our country roads safer. We’re investing in the things we know save lives on country roads, rolling out more than 2,000 kilometres of flexible safety barriers, thousands of kilometres of rumble strips as well as new turning and overtaking lanes.”

Run-off-road crashes are the major factor in regional road trauma rates across the state, with all regions recording more deaths from this crash type than any other. Regional Victoria is over-represented in the number of lives lost on Victorian roads. The number of people killed on rural roads increased by five in 2017, from 150 to 155, while Victoria’s overall lives lost figure dipped from 290 in 2016 to 257 last year.