Information on this page includes historical annual road toll statistics dating back as far as the Ministry of Transport has records available to 2013.

Further information on the Christmas/New Year Road Toll

Further information on the Easter Holiday Road Toll

Further information on the Queen's Birthday Holiday Road Toll

Further information on the Labour Weekend Holiday Road Toll

Historical deaths since 1921

 

YearNumber of road deathsYearNumber of road deathsYearNumber of road deaths
1921 69 1953 313 1985 747
1922 61 1954 360 1986 766
1923 59 1955 333 1987 795
1924 94 1956 329 1988 727
1925 103 1957 384 1989 755
1926 149 1958 379 1990 729
1927 138 1959 349 1991 650
1928 176 1960 374 1992 646
1929 178 1961 393 1993 600
1930 246 1962 398 1994 580
1931 170 1963 394 1995 582
1932 168 1964 428 1996 514
1933 132 1965 559 1997 539
1934 169 1966 549 1998 501
1935 190 1967 570 1999 509
1936 203 1968 522 2000 462
1937 213 1969 570 2001 455
1938 243 1970 655 2002 405
1939 246 1971 677 2003 461
1940 205 1972 713 2004 435
1941 174 1973 843 2005 405
1942 164 1974 676 2006 393
1943 152 1975 628 2007 421
1944 142 1976 609 2008 366
1945 128 1977 702 2009 384
1946 191 1978 654 2010 375
1947 206 1979 554 2011 284
1948 196 1980 599 2012 308
1949 218 1981 669 2013 253
1950 232 1982 673    
1951 292 1983 644    
1952 272 1984 669    

Road deaths and reported injury casualties 1980 to 2013

YearPopulation (000)Vehicles (000)Road deaths
No. of fatalitiesPer 100,000 populationPer 10,000 vehiclesNo. of injuriesPer 100,000 populationPer 10,000 vehicles
1980 3176.4 1789.4 599 18.9 3.3 15872 500 88.7
1981 3194.5 1848.6 669 20.9 3.6 15479 485 83.7
1982 3226.8 1882.5 673 20.9 3.6 16194 502 86.0
1983 3264.8 1917.4 644 19.7 3.4 16491 505 86.0
1984 3293.0 1968.9 669 20.3 3.4 17524 532 89.0
1985 3303.1 1996.1 747 22.6 3.7 18912 573 94.7
1986 3313.5 2010.1 766 23.1 3.8 18874 570 93.9
1987 3342.1 2030.6 795 23.8 3.9 18728 560 92.2
1988 3345.2 2045.4 727 21.7 3.6 17346 519 84.8
1989 3369.8 2108.4 755 22.4 3.6 16594 492 78.7
1990 3410.4 2197.7 729 21.4 3.3 17719 520 80.6
1991 3449.7 2220.1 650 18.8 2.9 16767 486 75.5
1992 3485.4 2227.1 646 18.5 2.9 16121 463 72.4
1993 3524.8 2243.8 600 17.0 2.7 15108 429 67.3
1994 3577.2 2289.3 580 16.2 2.5 16600 464 72.5
1995 3643.2 2354.6 582 16.0 2.5 16870 463 71.6
1996 3717.4 2379.8 514 13.8 2.2 14796 398 62.2
1997 3761.1 2392.7 539 14.3 2.3 13375 356 55.9
1998 3790.9 2440.4 501 13.2 2.1 12412 327 50.9
1999 3810.7 2512.3 509 13.4 2.0 11999 315 47.8
2000 3830.8 2601.7 462 12.1 1.8 10962 286 42.1
2001 3850.1 2633.2 455 11.8 1.7 12368 321 47.0
2002 3939.1 2709.5 405 10.3 1.5 13918 353 51.4
2003 4009.2 2801.0 461 11.5 1.6 14372 359 51.3
2004 4060.9 2920.7 435 10.7 1.5 13890 342 47.6
2005 4098.3 3030.4 405 9.9 1.3 14451 353 47.7
2006 4139.5 3124.3 393 9.5 1.3 15174 367 48.6
2007 4228.3 3189.1 421 10.0 1.3 16013 379 50.2
2008 4268.6 3247.8 366 8.6 1.1 15174 356 46.7
2009 4315.8 3220.3 384 8.9 1.2 14541 337 45.2
2010 4367.8 3230.6 375 8.6 1.2 14031 321 43.4
2011 4405.3 3233.6 284 6.4 0.9 12574  285 38.9
2012 4433.0 3250.1 308 6.9 0.9  12122  273 37.3
2013 4471.1 3304.7 253 5.7 0.8  11781  264  35.6

Download full table for deaths and injuries 1921–2013 [PDF, 75 KB]. This table also includes population and vehicle figures.

Time series graphs – road deaths

The following graphs show the number of road deaths since 1921 and road deaths per 10,000 vehicles and per 100,000 population.

Deaths per 10,000 vehicles has generally decreased since 1936, Deaths per 100,000 population steadily rose from 1936 till about 1975, and has been steadily decreasing since 1987, mirroring the trend for the overall number of road deaths.


Graph of road deaths from 1921Graph showing historical death rates from road crashes

Lowest and highest road deaths figures

The following tables show the lowest and highest number of road deaths. Population and vehicle data prior to 1936 was very scant.

 

Lowest number of road deaths since 1950
RankYearNumber of road deathsPopulation (000)Vehicles (000)Per 100,000 populationPer 10,000 vehicles
1 1950 232 1927.6 402.2 12 5.8
2 2013 253 4471.1 3304.7 5.7 0.8
3 1952 272 2024.6 494.2 13.4 5.5
4 2011 284 4405.3 3233.6 6.4 0.9
5 1951 292 1970.5 447.1 14.8 6.5
6 2012 308 4433.0 3250.1 6.9 1.0
7 1953 313 2074.7 513.7 15.1 6.1
8 1956 329 2209.2 638.3 14.9 5.2
9 1955 333 2164.8 301.1 15.4 5.5
10 1959 349 2359.7 728.2 14.8 4.8

 

Highest number of road deaths since 1950
RankYearNumber of road deathsPopulation (000)Vehicles (000)Per 100,000 populationPer 10,000 vehicles
1 1973 843 3024.9 1438.8 27.9 5.9
2 1987 795 3342.1 2030.6 23.8 3.9
3 1986 766 3313.5 2010.1 23.1 3.8
4 1989 755 3369.8 2108.4 22.4 3.6
5 1985 747 3303.1 1996.1 22.6 3.7
6 1990 729 3410.4 2197.7 21.4 3.3
7 1988 727 3345.2 2045.4 21.7 3.6
8 1972 713 2959.7 1349.1 24.1 5.3
9 1977 702 3166.4 1642.8 22.2 4.3
10 1971 677 2898.5 1272.4 23.4 5.3

Annual road deaths decreases since 1921

The following tables show the greatest decreases in road deaths from the prior year since 1921, in terms of number decreases and percent change.

Road deaths decreased by greatest number margins since 1921
Greatest decrease by NUMBER
RankYearNumber of road deathsFollowing yearNumber of road deathsDifference from prior year% diff from prior year
1 1973 843 1974 676 -167 -19.8%
2 1978 654 1979 554 -100 -15.3%
3 2010 375 2011 284 -91 -24.3%
4 1990 729 1991 650 -79 -10.8%
5 1930 246 1931 170 -76 -30.9%
6 1987 795 1988 727 -68 -8.6%
7 1995 582 1996 514 -68 -11.7%
8 2007 421 2008 366 -55 -13.1%
9 2012 308 2013 253 -55 -17.9%
10 2001 455 2002 405 -50 -11.0%

 

Road deaths decreased by greatest percent change margin since 1921
Greatest decrease by PERCENT CHANGE
RankYearNumber of road deathsFollowing yearNumber of road deathsDifference from prior year% diff from prior year
1 1930 246 1931 170 -76 -30.9%
2 2010 375 2011 284 -91 -24.3%
3 1932 168 1933 132 -36 -21.4%
4 1973 843 1974 676 -167 -19.8%
5 2012 308 2013 253 -55 -17.9%
6 1939 246 1940 205 -41 -16.7%
7 1978 654 1979 554 -100 -15.3%
8 1940 205 1941 174 -31 -15.1%
9 2007 421 2008 366 -55 -13.1%
10 1995 582 1996 514 -68 -11.7%

Age groups - road deaths

The following table gives the number killed in each age group. The total killed includes unknown aged fatalities.

Year0-14 years15-24 years25-39 years40-59 years60+ yearsTOTAL
1990 53 302 192 91 89 730
1991 53 232 168 98 89 651
1992 52 238 152 88 105 646
1993 39 219 129 93 89 600
1994 45 163 167 116 85 580
1995 51 188 162 110 68 582
1996 46 175 130 78 81 514
1997 45 146 141 101 106 539
1998 46 143 131 89 89 501
1999 29 132 131 99 115 509
2000 41 112 119 101 88 462
2001 33 125 97 105 88 455
2002 31 101 102 88 76 405
2003 27 129 126 89 84 461
2004 25 137 84 106 75 435
2005 31 133 68 102 70 405
2006 25 103 78 96 91 393
2007 27 132 98 87 77 421
2008 23 118 82 74 68 366
2009 22 105 90 89 78 384
2010 18 113 76 83 85 375
2011 11 82 46 79 65 284
2012 14 61 68 79 83 308
2013 6 63 41 76 64 253

Note: columns may not add to total due to unknown ages.

Over the long term the biggest improvement has been in the number of deaths in the 15-24 age group which has more than halved since 1990 (see graph below). This decrease has been partly due to a decrease in the number of motorcyclist deaths in this age group.
Graph showing deaths by age group

Types of road users killed

The most dramatic change in the longer term has been the drop in motorcycle deaths since 1989. The number of motorcyclists killed per year dropped from a peak of 150 down to about 30. In 1988 20 percent of the deaths on New Zealand roads were motorcyclists. This dropped to a low of about 7 percent of the total road toll. However in the last several years there has been a marked increase in the number of motorcyclists killed and injured on our roads.

Note: Statistics for specific road user groups are not available for years prior to 1951.

 

YearDriversPassengersMotorcyclistsCyclistsPedestriansOtherTotal
Highest: 307 (1987) 250 (1973) 146 (1988) 41 (1957) 157 (1973) - -
Lowest: 49 (1952) 61 (2011) 28 (2003) 6 (2003) 31 (2011)         
1990 277 206 114 27 105 1 730
1991 278 183 79 22 88 1 651
1992 286 179 88 17 76 0 646
1993 259 167 80 17 74 3 600
1994 272 166 72 15 54 1 580
1995 249 168 78 15 71 1 582
1996 238 151 48 13 63 1 514
1997 252 165 56 12 54 0 539
1998 221 139 54 16 71 0 501
1999 254 141 42 8 64 0 509
2000 244 132 30 19 35 2 462
2001 234 125 34 10 52 0 455
2002 220 96 30 14 45 0 405
2003 235 133 28 6 58 1 461
2004 221 133 35 7 38 1 435
2005 202 123 37 12 31 0 405
2006 192 107 38 9 44 3 393
2007 203 119 41 12 45 2 421
2008 163 104 51 10 31 7 366
2009 192 103 48 8 31 2 384
2010 180 98 50 10 35 2 375
2011 150 61 33 9 31 0 284
2012 135 82 50 8 33 0 308
2013 125 49 39 8 30 2 253

 

Graph showing types of road users killed

Local government region road toll

More information about Regions/local bodies (external link)

  • Local Body boundary changes mean that records have been kept from 1980 onwards. In November 2010, the Auckland Super City was established. The figures have been altered for Auckland and other regions to allow for this development.

  • For some regions, due to small numbers, changes from year to year may not be significant.

 

RegionLowest totalHighest total2007200820092010201120122013
Northland 7 2011 53 1989 30 29 35 22 7 18 21
Auckland 41 2012 216 1987 55 52 69 53 51 41 48
Waikato 33 2013 129 1989 93 75 75 65 65 65 33
Bay of Plenty 18 2013 78 1980 35 29 28 39 19 23 18
Gisborne/Hawke's Bay 10 2013 55 1990 35 22 24 25 17 31 10
Taranaki 7 2013 45 1991 10 7 17 11 9 17 7
Manawatu/Wanganui 15 2013 81 1987 41 31 38 41 28 29 15
Wellington 10 2010 73 1987 15 22 20 10 13 11 18
Nelson/Marlborough 8 2005 27 1982 10 10 14 24 10 9 9
West Coast 3 1996 18 2001 6 8 6 7 9 7 9
Canterbury 32 2000 82 1986 56 48 32 48 35 33 49
Otago 11 2002 46 1988 24 21 11 18 14 17 14
Southland 2 2013 25 1982 11 12 16 12 7 7 2
New Zealand     421 366 385 375 284 308 253

View full local government region annual road toll tables for 1980–2013 [PDF, 246 KB]

Note: 1980 is as far back as regional records are available. 2013 data are provisional.

Useful information