Gympie among states worst spots for car accidents

GYMPIE is one of the state's worst road crash zones.

APN research reveals the region had Queensland's 15th highest number of traffic accidents over a 13-year span.

The ranking is based on the state's 78 local government areas.

(These figures do not take into account the number of crashes per capita, which would push this region's ranking significantly higher.)

Queensland Government accident data collected from 2001 to 2013 shows there were 251,705 crashes across the state and 3326 happened in the Gympie council area.

The 10 worst areas were Brisbane City where there were 68,013 smashes; the Gold Coast with 25,475 crashes; the Sunshine Coast-Noosa region on 17,589; Moreton Bay with 16,874; Logan City with 14,413; Ipswich with 10,227; Townsville with 10,210 crashes; Toowoomba on 9976; Cairns with 9271; and the Rockhampton-Livingstone region on 6974.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads is responsible for 20% of roads in the region and Gympie Regional Council oversees the rest.

Gympie Mayor Mick Curran said most accidents happened on state-controlled roads.

He said the council was constantly working on reducing crashes.

"Road safety is council's first priority when funding is allocated for both road upgrading and road maintenance... almost everything the council does on its road network aims at improving

road safety - from identifying and constructing road upgrades to carrying out routine maintenance."

Road safety expert Dr Judy Fleiter said road users should remember that every time they got behind the wheel they could injure or kill someone.

"I don't think anyone wakes up and thinks 'right I'm going to go out and kill somebody today on the road', but getting behind the handlebars of a motorbike or the wheel of a truck or a car, we all have the capability to do that," said the postdoctoral research fellow from the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland.

"We hear about accidents every day, we drive past them on the side of the road, we see the ambulance attending but there's something about the human psyche that says it won't happen to me."

RACQ senior road safety advisor Joel Tucker said driving to the road conditions could mean the difference between life and death.

"Roads do contribute to crashes but not to the level that driver behaviour does," Mr Tucker said.

"If you've got a good road with nice wide shoulders, no trees to hit, then if a crash does occur and the driver does lose control, there's more opportunity for them to get out of that with a fairly minor level of damage or injury compared to a road environment that isn't well designed that can result in a more severe crash."