Poor driver behaviour was a factor in more than half of the fatal crashes last year, an analysis has found as the horror start to the year continued with the death of a 22-year-old woman.
Wattleup driver Gordana Grgurinovic died in hospital on Tuesday night, two days after suffering severe head and facial injuries when her car slammed into the back of a stationary water truck in Beeliar on Sunday morning.
Her death took the State's road toll to 27 - double the year-to-date toll for last year.
The RAC said analysis of last year's road trauma showed that at least 50 per cent of the 186 fatal crashes were attributed to deliberate driver choices such as speed, alcohol, drugs or reckless or careless behaviour.
More than 30 per cent of the road deaths last year involved someone not wearing a seatbelt and 16 per cent of drivers or motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were unlicensed.
RAC head of advocacy Matt Brown said the figures were a sobering reminder of the consequences of poor choices by road users.
"We are all committed to trying to create a safe system on our roads to try to ensure that even when people make mistakes it doesn't cost them or others their lives," Mr Brown said.
"The message is loud and clear, slow down, put your seatbelt on, put your phone out of reach and don't get behind the wheel after you've been drinking."
Last year's WA toll represented a fatality rate of 7.65 per 100,000 people, a slight increase on the rate of 7.63 in 2011.
WA's fatality rate continued to be the worst of any State and fell well behind the national rate of 5.7, Mr Brown said.
The number of deaths would need to be cut by almost 50 - to 140 - for WA to approach the national rate.
Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey said the Government had committed to spending a record $87 million on road safety initiatives from the Road Trauma Trust Account this financial year.Major crash investigators say the watering truck's warning lights were on at the time of the crash involving Ms Grgurinovic's car and they have appealed for witnesses to the crash.
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