How we’re making roads safer for those most vulnerable in crashes
Our bodies are fragile
Impact forces of 30km/h or more cause our fragile bodies to break. This fragility makes us vulnerable in a crash where these forces are often much greater. Vehicles give some protection from the full brunt of a crash thanks to safety features like airbags. But there are still some of us who are more vulnerable than others.
Who is most vulnerable on our roads and why?
Cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians, are more vulnerable in a crash than people in cars. Even though motorcycles only make up 4% of registered vehicles, riders account for a staggering 15% of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
Older drivers are more vulnerable because while they tend to be experienced and capable drivers, the physical and mental changes of ageing can affect reaction times, vision, hearing, muscle tone and our ability to recover from a crash. Prescription medication can also have an effect.
Younger drivers are more vulnerable because of a lack of experience and tendency to take more risks. During the first year of driving on P Plates, young people are 30 times more likely to crash than at any other time.
What are we doing?
The Towards Zero partners are working to stop crashes occurring by investing in safety improvements. Infrastructure like crash barriers and roundabouts will also reduce the amount of force involved, so that when a crash does happen it is more survivable. These improvements are designed to protect people from mistakes made on our roads.
We are also investing in greater public education to ensure Victorians are safer on the roads and drive safer cars.
Click on the dropdown links to see how we’re helping make roads safer for people most vulnerable in crashes.
- Working with riders to demand potentially life-saving technologies like motorcycle ABS. Find out more about ABS
- New mandatory training and testing for first-time riders under an expanded Graduated Licensing System
- Installing padding or rub rail protection on posts to make barriers more motorbike-friendly
- Promoting the use of protective clothing and footwear to lessen the crash effects
- Upgrading regional roads and busy urban intersections
- Investing $100 million in building separate bike lanes and safety infrastructure to prevent crashes at intersections, riders being hit from behind and car dooring
- Improving routes to train stations and the CBD; creating new routes in regional areas; filling the ‘missing links’ in the existing bicycle network – like completing the Darebin Yarra Trail
- Providing communities and schools with new safe cycling resources. Current resources are here
- Building separate paths, kerb outstands, mid-block refuges and raised pedestrian crossings
- Installing traffic calming measures in busy areas like shopping centres and public transport hubs
- Encouraging drivers to self-regulate or talk to health professionals about their ability to drive
- Developing tools and information to support drivers, families and health professionals, including online medical reports
- Establishing a road safety education complex with programs to engage young people and the community in preventing road trauma
- Putting in place a driver education and training program for first-time drivers to prepare them to be safe drivers
- Rewarding the most responsible young drivers with a free three-year licence
- Continuing the mentor program L2P which helps disadvantaged young people gain 120 hours supervised driving experience as Learners
- Doubling the supervised night-time driving hours L-platers need from 10 to 20 hours