Two thirds of Queensland's road deaths in 2018 have happened in regional areas.
Two thirds of Queensland's road deaths in 2018 have happened in regional areas. Tony Martin

Why so many deadly crashes happen on regional roads

QUEENSLAND drivers believe they can get away with breaking the law on regional roads - and it is killing them.

Road death statistics show more than 70 per cent of Queensland's road fatalities in 2018 have happened on regional roads.

An analysis of Department of Transport and Main Road statistics shows of the 197 people killed on Queensland roads to October 7 this year, 143 of them have died outside Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

The shocking statistic comes as Australian Road Safety Foundation research shows 38 per cent of drivers are more likely to break road rules on regional and rural roads.

ARSF CEO and founder Russell White said more than half of city drivers and 42 per cent of regional drivers said they did not think they would be caught on isolated roads.

"The research has told us that the main reason drivers are taking more risks on rural roads is because they're less likely to get caught," he said.

"We will continue to see this significant and unnecessary loss of life on regional roads until we make the effort to shift this mentality so that we're driving with safety front of mind."

Mr White said drivers needed to take ownership of reducing the road toll.

"While there are a number of factors that contribute to the regional road toll, it's everyday Australians that hold the key to safer roads" he said.

RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said crashes on regional roads often happened at high speeds.

"Regional roads are often over represented in fatality statistics," she said.

"When crashes happen outside the southeast, they are more likely to happen at higher speeds which is inherently more dangerous."

Ms Hunter said the roads in regional areas were not up to the same standard as many metropolitan roads.

"There is not going to be a silver bullet to end this. It is about improving safety on roads but also changing driver behaviour."

The ARSF research showed Brisbane drivers were more likely to speed or use a phone while driving when on rural roads.

Regional drivers are more likely to drive while intoxicated, fatigued or not wear a seatbelt.



20 per cent of regional Queenslanders know someone who has been killed or permanently injured in a crash.

38 per cent of state's drivers are more likely to break road rules in regions than cities.

Regional drivers are more likely to drive drunk, fatigued or not wear a seatbelt on rural roads.

City drivers more likely to speed, use a phone or overload a car with passengers on rural roads.

Source: Australian Road Safety Foundation