Australia is losing $20 billion every year thanks to road crashes
Following a number of years with low numbers of road crashes and fatalities, the government has urged Aussie motorists to be careful when driving after deaths on the road jumped across the nation in 2016.
In Victoria alone, the road toll jumped from 252 in 2015 up to 291 in 2016, a 15 percent jump in just one year.
Police have described 2016 as a "horror time", while the state's Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer said the deaths affect countless family members and friends as well as the healthcare system.
"Road trauma in Victoria alone (is costing) anywhere between $2.15 billion and $2.9 billion dollars annually. It's an extraordinary number," Fryer told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
"But this is about lives, it's about real people, and you talk to anyone who's lost a loved one to road trauma, they simply do not get over it. We just need everyone to take this very personally."
In New South Wales, car crashes are reportedly costing the economy $5 billion annually with half of that money used to treat more than 10,000 road injuries in the state's hospitals.
The federal government's National Road Safety Strategy aims to achieve a 30 percent reduction in the number of road deaths and injuries by 2020, and road safety campaigners like Peter Frazer have said there isn't enough outrage at the current state of the road toll.
He said people simply didn't take road safety warnings seriously. ■