Australia’s most dangerous roads revealed

dangerous roads

Every year – especially around the Easter and Christmas holidays – we see national ad campaigns intended to reduce the number of fatalities on Australian roads. Despite widespread awareness of the dangers, road tolls figures continue to rise year-on-year.

To help you stay safe while driving, it’s important to be aware of certain factors that play into road accidents and fatalities. We reveal the most dangerous roads in Australia, as well as the times throughout the day which increase the risk of being involved in an incident.

What makes a road ‘safe’?

While solid infrastructure is important for the ongoing safety of Australian drivers, there are multiple factors that help make roads ‘safe’. According to the National Road Safety Strategy, the safest environments require: safe roads, safe speeds, safe vehicles and safe drivers.

This is evident when you understand the reasons behind most road incidents. Reckless driving, distractions, speeding and drunk driving all contribute to a high proportion of accidents and road deaths in Australia, according to government research.

While you can’t control what other drivers are doing when on the road, you can take precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Timing is important

It might surprise you to learn that you are more susceptible to road incidents depending on the time of day and where you are driving.

For example, most fatalities on South Australian roads occur between 11am and midday, while in Tasmania you’re more at risk between 1pm and 4.30pm.

For metro areas in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland, drivers should note the danger levels rise between 3pm and 4pm, which is compounded by the thousands of young children being picked up from school.

Beyond timing your travels to avoid the riskiest periods (whenever possible), you should also be aware of the most dangerous roads in Australia. If you’re a keen traveller and want to see as much of the country as possible, this list of the five riskiest roads could help you prepare for your next trip.

1. Plenty Road, Bundoora, Victoria

Research from an annual crash index found that Plenty Road in Melbourne’s northern suburbs had the most crashes in Australia for the 12 months leading up to 31 July 2018.

As a key thoroughfare for Melbourne commuters, with plenty of entry and exit points, as well as a tram line, this stretch of road is particularly risky during peak hour.

2. Gympie Road, Chermside, Queensland

Queensland’s Gympie Road between Chermside and Aspley in Brisbane has been identified as one of the most dangerous stretches of road state-wide.

3. Hume Highway, Liverpool, New South Wales

Out in the western suburbs, the Liverpool stretch of the Hume Highway is consistently named Sydney’s worst road.

4. Bruce Highway, Queensland

Listed as one of the 22 deadliest roads in the world – mostly due to dangerous overtaking and huge stretches of road between towns – the Bruce Highway, which runs from Brisbane right up to Cairns, was responsible for 61% of road deaths from 2005 to 2009.

5. Outback Highway, Laverton WA to Winton QLD

While great for four-wheel drive enthusiasts, this massive stretch of dirt road is a dangerous place for travellers. At 2,800 kilometres long it takes its nickname “Australia’s longest shortcut” , but is also a hazardous place to drive, especially with the impact of wet weather.

Other dangerous roads around Australia

  • NSW: Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills; M4 Motorway, Parramatta; Pacific Highway, Chatswood.
  • VIC: Springvale Road, Springvale; Doncaster Road, Doncaster; Sydney Road, Coburg (added danger of trams).
  • SA: The Parade, Norwood; Bridge Road, Para Hills; Main North Road, Elizabeth.
  • WA: Albany Highway, Cannington; Great Eastern Highway, Midland; Kwinana Freeway, South Perth.
  • QLD: Warrego Highway, Ipswich to Charleville; Mains Road, Sunnybank Hills; The Range, Toowoomba.
  • NT: Stuart Highway; Victoria Highway; Barkly Highway.
  • TAS: Ben Lomond Rangers; Gordon River Road; Jacob’s Ladder.
  • ACT: Hobart Avenue, Forrest; Barton Highway, Crace; Masson Street, Turner.

What can you do to stay safe on our roads?

ANCAP chief James Goodwin says Australians need to be more aware of how the condition of their vehicles can impact road safety, revealing that 2.7 million registered vehicles are 15 years or older.

Aside from making sure your car is regularly serviced and well maintained, there are some obvious tips whenever you’re driving: always wear your seatbelt, don’t drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, make sure you are well rested (especially on long trips) and stay under the speed limit – even when overtaking.

We’re also seeing more and more accidents caused by drivers distracted by their phones, so keep your devices stowed – and don’t be tempted to touch your phone even if you are stopped at a red light, as it is illegal to do so.

Finally, make sure your vehicle is adequately insured. Even if you aren’t at fault, an accident could see you out of pocket for repair costs and even medical expenses.


CCI Personal Insurance can help keep you safe on the road, with cover available for accidents, damage and theft. Find out more about our car insurance policies or get a quote online today.