A man who is lucky to be alive after a horrific crash near Warrnambool 18 years ago is scared to drive on south-west roads.
Beau De Lorenzo, 38, lives in Bendigo but regularly visits Warrnambool to see family.
However, he said he was having second thoughts about his regular trips to the city due to the poor condition of the roads.
"I've blown six tyres in the past six months coming down to Warrnambool," Mr De Lorenzo said.
"The roads are very dangerous."
Mr De Lorenzo said the last time he had to change a tyre, he waved down a passing police officer to help him.
He suffered horrific injuries after the his on Wangoom Road on November 21, 2005 - five days before his 21st birthday.
"I was travelling on Wangoom Road around the big bend," Mr De Lorenzo said.
"I hit loose gravel, lost control and hit a power pole at 100km/h."
Mr De Lorenzo was flown to hospital in Melbourne with a shattered spine and brain bleeds.
He was placed in an induced coma for three months and doctors thought he would never walk again.
Through sheer determination and ongoing rehabilitation, Mr De Lorenzo now has about 90 per cent mobility.
"They told me I would never drive, but I've proved them wrong," he said.
"But I can't afford to keep replacing tyres on a TAC pension and it's frightening driving on the roads to Warrnambool.
"The roads are absolutely treacherous."
Mr De Lorenzo has a driver's licence and enjoys the independence it gives him, but he fears there will be more accidents on south-west roads if something isn't done.
His comments come after south-west politicians Dan Tehan and Roma Britnell issued a challenge to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to drive on south-west roads for a day.
Nullawarre's Sue Blake said the Great Ocean Road between Allansford and Nullawarre was in a "terrible state".
"The edges haven't been graded so the grass is higher than the road surface," she said.
"When it's wet, water sits on the road surface so it's like driving through a river when it's wet.
"It's extremely dangerous."
A state government spokeswoman said significant investment had been made into south-west roads.
"We know how critical south-west roads are to tourism and the region's dairy industry, which is why we are continuing to deliver significant works - supporting local jobs, better freight movement and ensuring safer routes for all motorists," she said.
However, The Standard was not advised whether the Prime Minister or Premier will visit the south-west, despite requests.
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