50,000 a year seriously injured in land transport accidents; 26,000 under 30 years of age

Over 50,000 people were seriously injured in land transport accidents in 2005-06 according to a new report, Serious injury due to land transport accidents, Australia, 2005-06, released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.

Over half (52%) of the resulting hospital admissions were young people aged less than 30 years of age (26,026 hospital admissions) and over a quarter were in the 15-24 year age bracket (13,542).

Jesia Berry of the Institute's National Injury Surveillance Unit said, 'The most common types of accidents that resulted in hospitalisation were car collisions with another vehicle on a public road, cars colliding with a fixed or stationary object, and off-road motorcycle and off-road pedal bicycle accidents.

Overall, males had more than twice the rate of non-fatal land transport injury (338 per 100,000 people compared to 156 per 100,000 for females).

'Focusing on crashes involving a motor vehicle that occurred on public roads in 2005-06, we found that they resulted in 31,204 persons seriously injured to the point they were hospitalised. This represents 62% of all hospitalised cases due to land transport accidents,' Ms Berry said.

The most frequently injured road user groups were car occupants (16,146 admissions) motorcyclists (6,479), pedal cyclists (4,370) and pedestrians (2,644)

The rate of serious injury was 38 times higher for motorcyclists than for car occupants (395 motorcyclists compared to 10 car occupants were seriously injured per 100 million kilometres travelled).

The rate of serious injury was low for occupants of heavy transport vehicles (3 heavy transport vehicle occupants injured per 100 million kilometres travelled).

The rate of serious injury due to road vehicle traffic crashes increased in the last three years of the seven-year period from 1999-00 to 2005-06. The increase was mainly attributable to higher numbers of seriously injured motorcyclists and pedal cyclists.

Another internet-only report, Serious injury due to transport accidents, Australia, 2005-06, was also released today.

Wednesday 23 July 2008

Further information: Jesia Berry, AIHW, tel. 08 8201 7602.

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. 61 2 6244 1032.