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released: 26 Jul 2013 author: Henley G & Harrison JE media release

This report looks at death and serious injury of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia due to transport accidents in the five-year period 2005-06 to 2009-10. Land transport accidents accounted for 26% of all fatal injury cases and 9% of all serious injury cases for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The age-standardised rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 2.8 times the rate for Other Australians for fatal cases, and 1.3 times the rate for Other Australians for serious injuries.

ISSN 1444-3791; ISBN 978-1-74249-461-6; Cat. no. INJCAT 161; 74pp.; $29

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Summary

This publication provides a summary of fatal and serious injury of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia due to land transport accidents over the five-year period from 2005-06 to 2009-10. Due to data quality issues, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory were not included.

All transport injury

Transport-related injury was the second leading cause of fatal injury (27%) and the fourth leading cause of serious injury (9%) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. More than 98% of the fatal and non-fatal transport injury cases involved land transport.

Land transport injury

Land transport accidents accounted for 26% of all fatal injury cases and 9% of all serious injury cases for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The age-standardised rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 2.8 times the rate for Other Australians for fatal cases and 1.3 times the rate for Other Australians for serious injuries.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were fatally or seriously injured in land transport accidents were less likely to have been drivers and more likely to have been passengers and pedestrians than Other Australians. Sixty-one per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people fatally injured in land transport accidents, and 41% of those seriously injured, were occupants of cars.

The age-standardised fatal injury rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as a car occupant was 3.3 times that of Other Australians (driver 2.3 times; passenger 5.8 times) and the fatal injury rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as a pedestrian was 5.2 times that of Other Australians. Equivalent ratios for serious injury were 1.2 (car driver), 2.6 (passenger) and 2.8 (pedestrian).

In general, rates of fatal and serious land transport injury increased greatly with the remoteness of the person's usual residence from an urban centre. This was seen for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Other Australians.

Fatal injury rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were 1.1 to 2.3 times those for Other Australians for residents of the five remoteness areas, while serious injury rates were lower for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for Other Australians in all remoteness areas except Major cities, where their rate was a little higher.

Fatal injury rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Other Australians declined over the five-year period at estimated rates of 8.1% and 5.8% per year.

Serious injury rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people rose over the five-year period (2.3% per year), while serious injury rates for Other Australians declined in the same period (1.1% per year). For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Other Australians, rates of serious injury as a motorcyclist rose over the period and fell for Other Australians as car drivers, car passengers and pedestrians.

Recommended citation

Henley G & Harrison JE 2013. Injury of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people due to transport: 2005-06 to 2009-10. Injury research and statistics series 85. Cat. no. INJCAT 161. Canberra: AIHW.