Road Safety on Unsealed Roads

Published on Wednesday, 20 July 2022 at 9:06:32 AM

According to research, the number of crashes on unsealed roads is low compared with the number of crashes on sealed roads, however the chance of having a crash on an unsealed road is at least double than on a sealed road[].

The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) Best Practice Guide 2 – Unsealed Roads includes a section on road safety planning. The Guide recognises that improving safety on the unsealed road network can be a significant challenge for Local Governments to manage within a limited budget.

The Guide suggests focusing firstly on safety strategies that can help the motorist drive to conditions. For drivers to be able to drive to conditions and adjust their driving behaviour to reduce risk, they need to be able to easily read what those conditions are[].

Many safety measures which warn motorists to drive to conditions, and supplement providing a self-explaining road, are low cost in nature. For example, placement of signs, guide posts, improving sight distance etc.

For more information, visit ARRB Best Practice Guide 2 – Unsealed Roads here link

[1] WA Local Government Association, Road Assets and Expenditure Report 2020-21, Road-Assets-and-Expenditure-Report-2020-21-website.pdf (, July 2022.

[2] Willett, P 1992, Safety comparison by road types, Western Roads, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 3-4.

[3] Australian Road Research Board, Best Practice Guide 2 – Unsealed Roads, Best Practice Guides (, July 2022.

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