The worst highway in the nation is the M4 Western Motorway in Sydney, which runs from Homebush through Parramatta to the M7 Westlink. This section of highway sees over 94,000 vehicles per day, and saw 788 crashes between 2010 and 2014 – the highest rate of any highway in the Australia.
Another Sydney highway also came in at third place, with the M31 South West Motorway from Prestons to Campbelltown being given the maximum ‘High’ risk rating in the AAA’s report.
In addition to the two NSW highways, there were three Tasmanian sections of road, four from Queensland, and one from WA on the list of Australia’s most dangerous highways. Tasmania’s worst stretch of road was the second-worst in the nation, which was the Bass Highway from Nine Mile Road to Stowport Road, while Queensland’s worst was the fourth-ranked Pacific Motorway between the Gateway and Logan motorway intersections.
The 10 worst motorway sections are as follows:
|1||NSW||M4||Western Motorway||Parramatta Rd, Concord to M7 Westlink|
|2||TAS||M2/A2||Bass Highway||Nine Mile Rd to Stowport Rd|
|3||NSW||M31||Hume Motorway/Freeway||South Western Motorway/M5 to Narellan Rd, Campbelltown|
|4||QLD||M1||Pacific Motorway||Gateway Motorway to Logan Motorway|
|5||TAS||A8||East Tamar Highway||Alanvale Connector to Dalrymple Rd|
|6||QLD||M1||Pacific Motorway||Smith Street Fwy to NSW border|
|7||TAS||M1||Midland Highway||Evandale Main Rd to Howick Street|
|8||QLD||M1||Pacific Motorway||Logan Motorway to Smith Street Fwy|
|9||QLD||A1||Bruce Highway||Sarina to Mackay|
|10||WA||WA19||Great Northern / Victoria Highway||Kununnurra T/off to NT border|
Source: AusRAP Data 2016 (http://ausrap.aaa.asn.au/page?name=resources)
The Australian Road Assessment Program surveyed over 20,000 kilometres of highways which comprise the National Land Transport Network, looking at statistics over five years from 2010 to 2014. During this period there were 15,339 casualty crashes across Australia, which included 924 deaths.
The report comes at a time when Australia’s road toll is experiencing a marked increase. There were 86 more deaths on our roads last year compared to year before, bucking a trend of four decades of decreasing accident numbers. According to the AAA, more than 2,500 Aussies are seriously injured on the road every month.
The AusRAP report also ranked the 10 best highways in the nation, which saw Victorian highways take up four spots – including three of the top five. The safest highway to drive on was Victoria’s M39 Goulburn Valley Freeway, followed by a section of Queensland’s Bruce Highway south of Gympie, and the ACT’s Federal Highway section bordering NSW.
All of the best highways were given the minimum ‘Low’ ranking on the report’s risk scale. But with over fifty highway sections – roughly one in five – rated ‘High’, there’s clearly still work to be done to reduce the nearly 30,000 death and trauma incidents on our roads each year.
The AAA is encouraging Aussie motorists to contact their local MPs and lobby them for safer roads, as well as calling to State and Federal governments to use the research to make better investments in road infrastructure. You can check out the report’s interactive road map here.