While serious and minor injury crashes on Transurban roads have been in decline for years our data shows they are more likely to occur at night, with Sunday night recording the highest number of serious injury crashes.
A serious injury crash is a crash resulting in someone being transported by ambulance. A minor injury crash is a crash where someone requires first-aid but does not need ambulance transportation.
The most common types of crashes we see on our roads are rear-enders and out-of-control vehicles. Rear-enders are more likely to occur during peak periods whereas the proportion of out-of-control crashes doubles when it’s raining.
Other incidents together account for slightly less than 30% of total incidents. Other incidents include: objects hitting or being hit by vehicles; and falls inside or from vehicles.
Improving road safety
Our roads are among the most sophisticated in the world. The thousands of pieces of innovative technology used on our roads together create a ‘managed motorway’ system and help keep our roads free-flowing.
When an incident does occur, it is quickly identified and responded to by our traffic control room operators and incident response teams.
We use data collected by roadside technology, along with third-party data, to inform maintenance works and to identify opportunities to upgrade our roads and improve safety.
All tunnels operated by Transurban include multiple safety features—including features designed to help keep you safe while on the road, and features designed to help keep you safe during and after an incident.
Click the hotspots to see these features.
Some of our tunnels also feature innovative lighting to help improve safety.
NorthConnex in Sydney uses a series of lighting features to keep drivers engaged as they travel through the nine-kilometre tunnel. A detailed review of international safety research found travelling long distances underground, and with minimal sensory variations, can contribute to drivers losing concentration on the road.
The Burnley Tunnel in Melbourne uses an Australian-first pacemaker light system to help motorists drive at a steady pace inside the tunnel – reducing congestion and making it an easier drive.
Every road operated by Transurban is monitored by a traffic control room 24/7.
Ever wondered what a traffic control room looks like? Check out our Brisbane Traffic Control Room (pictured) or take a virtual tour of our CityLink Traffic Control Room and find out more about the different systems that are used to keep motorists safe.
Our Traffic Control Room Operators detect incident within seconds of it occurring. And an Incident Response Team is on the scene within minutes. In Australia, Transurban Incident Response Teams attend around 1,300 incidents per week.
Meet some of our Incident Responders.
Check out some of the more unusual incidents we respond to.
Data driven improvement
We analyse our data, and third-party data, to identify opportunities for improving the safety of our roads.
For example, we noticed a pattern of rear-end crashes occurring just before the citybound Punt Road and Batman Avenue exit on CityLink in Melbourne. By analysing CCTV footage of crashes in the area we determined these crashes were likely the result of sudden or late lane changing by motorists that was forcing vehicles behind to slow down or brake suddenly.
In 2021 we installed new, earlier signage and lane markers on the road. This gave drivers advanced warning to exit and more time to choose their preferred lane. The result was a 75% reduction in rear-end crashes and a 66% reduction in lane side swipes despite higher traffic volumes.
A driver's choices and behaviour can have a big impact on their safety, and that of those around them. We invest in research and partner with experts to examine how drivers can be safer on the road.
Risk-taking behind the wheel: latest Transurban research
Risk-taking while driving is a factor in serious-injury crashes. Our latest research, the 2023 Transurban Insights: Road Safety report, digs into the kinds of risks some drivers are taking. It also looks at what driving scenarios cause the most stress. For this research we surveyed around 1,700 respondents, all aged 18+ with a driver’s licence from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane (Australia), the Greater Washington Area (United States) and Montreal (Canada).
Here’s a summary of our findings. For all the details, download the 2023 Transurban Insights: Road Safety report.
Driving above the speed limit is illegal in all surveyed jurisdictions. Our survey found most drivers (between 72% and 87%, depending on the city surveyed) exceed speed limits, whether ‘very rarely’ or ‘quite often. This behaviour was consistent across gender, age and other demographics.
See more on this topic, including data on speeding behaviours by road type and construction work zones.
Wearing a seatbelt when in a moving vehicle is mandatory in all surveyed jurisdictions. Our survey found self-reported seatbelt use is high (from 91% to 96%) in all surveyed cities, with minimal variation between passenger and driver compliance – see chart for details.
See more on this topic, including demographic trends and data.
In all areas surveyed, operating a hand-held mobile device while driving is illegal. In Australia, secured devices are permitted for some activities, with stricter rules for learner and probationary drivers in Australia (with some variations between states and territories). Mobile devices are banned for under 18 drivers in North America.
While most respondents said they comply with these restrictions, not everyone does. As this chart shows, almost half (47%) of Greater Washington Area respondents say they use unsecured mobile devices while driving, compared to 31% in Montreal and 26% in Australia.
See more on this topic, including reasons for use, demographic trends and data.
For some people, driving can be a stressful experience. Our survey explored what causes stress on the road. We found around 80% of respondents feel stressed while driving at least some of the time, as shown.
See more on this topic, including demographic trends and data.
Transurban Road Safety Centre
Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) partnership
The Transurban Road Safety Research Centre is operated via a multi-year partnership between Transurban and Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), an independent, not-for-profit research institute conducting world-leading brain and nervous system research.
Learn more about this high-tech lab and its leading road safety research
Dive deeper into our driving behaviour data
Last year, our Insights research also focused on driving behaviours that impact road safety, including:
- driving near emergency vehicles
- driving through roadworks
- driving near heavy vehicles
- travelling safely with children.
What we found shows more education is needed on all four driving behaviours we explored. We also found that drivers don’t always realise they’re getting safety wrong. See our 2022 Transurban Insights: Road Safety report for details.