A new report says Australians spend more than ever on the road and the number of people using them has more than doubled in the past 15 years.
The National Road Safety Authority has been tracking the use of roadways and roads that are used by about 1.3 million people per year.
The report, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, found that in 2015-16, Australians spent about $18 billion on road and road infrastructure in total.
That equates to about 1 per cent of total revenue, or $18bn.
The study estimated that the cost of road and infrastructure spending in Australia in 2020-21 was about $9bn.
That translates to a total of about $1.3 billion per annum, a rise of nearly 1 per the previous five years.
“There’s a very high level of interest and concern that we have a problem,” said NARSAC’s Dr Richard Cairns.
“We have a very significant increase in road use that is not going to go away, it’s just going to be a lot more concentrated in certain parts of the country.”
The study also found that the average driver is spending more time on the move than ever before.
In 2015-2016, the average Australian drove about 19 hours a week on the carriageway, compared with 18 hours in 1999-2000.
The average time spent on the country’s roads is also on the rise.
The number of vehicles on Australian roads has increased by about 30 per cent in the last 15 years, according to the report.
But while the roadways are getting longer and longer, Australians are also spending more money on fuel and maintaining their vehicles.
“This is the trend that is leading to a very pronounced increase in the number and intensity of road traffic collisions,” Dr Cairn said.
The report said road traffic deaths are rising faster than population growth and that the proportion of drivers with traffic infractions has also increased. “
People are driving more and more.”
The report said road traffic deaths are rising faster than population growth and that the proportion of drivers with traffic infractions has also increased.
The proportion of Australians with traffic offences is increasing faster than the population of Australia Source: NARSATA/University of New South Wales The report also said the number, age and gender breakdown of road users has also changed dramatically.
The figures showed that in 2012-13, the proportion in the population aged 18 to 24 was 27 per cent, compared to 27 per 50 in the next generation.
The population of people aged 55 to 64 had increased by more than 3 per cent since then, from 6.4 per cent to 8.1 per cent.
It also found the proportion aged 25 to 34 had increased from about 11 per cent before the recession to 16 per cent today.
Dr C, who is also the author of the annual report, said the change was a result of Australians increasingly living in remote areas, and using roads that had not been used by people for years.
He said the increasing number of road collisions, which are occurring at higher speeds, was the result of drivers choosing to drive faster to the centre of the city.
The trend towards driving more heavily was also reflected in the proportion driving with a mobile phone, which had grown from 1 per 1,000 in the early 1990s to 1 per 100 in 2015.