Australia ranks among the safest countries in which to drive
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Australia ranks among the safest countries in which to drive

In Leipzig, Germany

The chances of dying on the road in Australia are much lower than in the United States, Argentina or Chile.

Australia is ranked the 15th safest country to drive in, according to a global study.

Australia is ranked the 15th safest country to drive in, according to a global study.

And travellers wanting to drive in Sweden or the UK can take comfort that roads in those two countries are the safest in the world.

New data from the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group, which looked at detailed road death information from dozens of developed nations, showed that, in 2013, 5.1 Australians were killed on the road for every 100,000 people.

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The data was released on the opening day of the International Transport Forum in Germany and showed of the 32 countries with enough detailed data to be scrutinised, Australia ranked 15th safest.

The chances of dying on American roads are more than double that of Australia, with 10.3 people killed for every 100,000 people.

And roads are even more dangerous in Argentina and Chile where the rate is 12.3 and 12 respectively.

Seat belts are not compulsory in all parts of the two South American countries, which contributed to the high death toll.

Korea has the worst road death rate per billion vehicle-kilometres travelled with 17.2 dead for every billion kilometres of road driven – in Australia it is just five.

Every year 1.3 million people are killed on world roads, with tens of millions injured. The group says 90 per cent of victims are in low or middle income countries.

Swedish roads are the safest with only 2.7 people dying per 100,000, followed by Britain with 2.8.

Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Israel are the next safest roads.

Since 2000 there has been a dramatic drop in road fatalities globally, with a 42 per cent improvement among the member countries. Much of this has been due to improved car safety.

Spain and Portugal lead the pack with a 70 per cent drop in road deaths over 13 years but experts caution this is because their records were so poor.

The report suggests the global financial crisis may have helped improve road safety.

Despite the major improvement in deaths, cyclist and pedestrian deaths are not reducing at the same rate, with many countries still not requiring bike helmets.

The group says the best ways to reduce road deaths is through safer road infrastructure, education at all levels of society and enforcement of breaches and community expectations.

The journalist travelled to Germany as a guest of the International Transport Forum

DANGEROUS ROADS

Deaths per 100,000 people

  1. Sweden 2.7
  2. United Kingdom 2.8
  3. Switzerland 3.3
  4. Netherlands 3.4
  5. Denmark 3.4
  6. Israel 3.4
  7. Spain 3.6
  8. Norway 3.7
  9. Japan 4
  10. Ireland 4.1
  11. Germany 4.1
  12. Iceland 4.7
  13. Finland 4.8
  14. France 5.1
  15. AUSTRALIA 5.1
  16. Austria 5.4
  17. Canada 5.5
  18. New Zealand 5.7
  19. Italy 5.7
  20. Hungary 6
  21. Portugal 6.1
  22. Slovenia 6.1
  23. Czech Republic 6.2
  24. Belgium 6.5
  25. Greece 7.9
  26. Luxembourg 8.4
  27. Lithuania 8.7
  28. Poland 8.7
  29. Korea 10.1
  30. USA 10.3
  31. Chile 12
  32. Argentina 12.3