The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released two new reports today -- one on serious non-fatal injuries that occurred in land transport accidents, and another on rail safety in Australia.
The first report, Serious injury due to land transport accidents, Australia 2003-04, shows that in this twelve month period land transport accidents resulted in 46,862 serious injuries -- the equivalent of 214,484 bed days in hospital.
Ms Jesia Berry, of the AIHW's National Injury Surveillance Unit (NISU) said, 'Males had more than twice the rate of non-fatal injury, 320 per 100,000 population compared to 149 for females.'
Over half (53%) of the hospital admissions were young people less than 30 years of age with over a quarter aged 15--24 years.
The four most common types of accidents resulting in hospitalisation were injury from vehicle collisions (16% of admissions) or colliding with a stationary object (8%) and injury of a motorcyclist (7%) or pedal cyclist (6%) while travelling off-road in a non-collision accident.
The second report, Serious injury due to transport accidents involving a railway train, Australia 1999-00 to 2003-04, shows that there were, on average, 206 people seriously injured and the equivalent of 1,818 bed days in hospital per year due to transport accidents involving a railway train.
Report author, Dr Louise Flood, also from NISU, said, 'Serious injury rates involving train accidents were highest among youth and young adults (15--24 years) and older people (75 plus years) and 'males had 1.6 times the rate of serious injury compared to females.'
There were on average 55 persons seriously injured due to level crossing accidents per year. Close to half (44.2%) were car occupants injured in a collision with a train and about one third (32.5%) were pedestrians.