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Men are more than twice as likely as women to suffer serious injury as a result of a land transport accident, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report Serious injury due to land transport accidents, Australia 2006-07, found just over 52,000 people were seriously injured due to a land transport accident in 2006-07, resulting in over 232,000 patient days in hospital and an average length of stay of 4.5 days.

Just over 50% of those seriously injured were aged less than 30 years, with car occupants accounting for almost 35%, motorcyclists 26% and pedal cyclists 18% of all persons seriously injured.

'When looking at injury rates in relation to the number of registered vehicles, the rate of seriously injured motorcyclists was more than 10 times the rate for car occupants,' said Geoff Henley of the Institute's National Injury and Surveillance Unit.

'And when looking at serious injury rates in relation to the number of kilometres travelled, the rate for motorcyclists was more than 37 times that of car occupants.'

Rates for the Northern Territory remained higher than those for all other jurisdictions.

A second report, Serious injury due to transport accidents involving a railway train, Australia 2002-03 to 2006-07 found that the rate of serious injury due to transport accidents involving a train had declined by an annual average of 4.6% since 2000-01.

'The risk of serious injury, based on kilometres travelled, is more than 10 times as high for people travelling by car compared with those travelling by rail,' Mr Henley said.

'Between 2002-03 and 2006-07, 910 people were seriously injured due to transport accidents involving a train, with just over a quarter injured while boarding or alighting from a train.'

In the same period, 253 people were seriously injured due to a level crossing accident.

Victoria accounted for over half (53%) of level crossing-related serious injury cases, followed by Queensland (19%), South Australia (13%) and New South Wales (11%).

Pedestrians injured in a collision with a train accounted for 15% of serious injury cases and car occupants in a collision with a train accounted for 13%.

Serious injury rates due to level crossing accidents tended to be higher among young adults aged 20-24 years, while serious injury rates due to transport accidents involving a train tended to be higher for those aged 70 years and over, for both sexes.

Thursday 17 December 2009

Further information: Geoff Henley, AIHW, tel. 08 8201 7621

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1032.

Full report: Serious injury due to transport accidents involving a railway train, Australia 2002-03 to 2006-07

Full report: Serious injury due to land transport accidents, Australia 2006-07