Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2021. Injury in Australia: transport injuries. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 28 October 2021, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/transport-injuries
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). Injury in Australia: transport injuries. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/transport-injuries
Injury in Australia: transport injuries. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 10 March 2021, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/transport-injuries
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Injury in Australia: transport injuries [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021 [cited 2021 Oct. 28]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/transport-injuries
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2021, Injury in Australia: transport injuries, viewed 28 October 2021, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/transport-injuries
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Transport is part of our daily lives and a major component of the economy. However, every year, thousands of Australians are hurt or die in accidental road and other transport crashes, mainly whilst in a car or riding a motorcycle or bicycle.
In 2017–18, 12% of hospitalised injury cases and 11% of injury deaths were due to transport crashes. Males and young people are particularly at risk, and fracture is the most common type of injury sustained in hospitalised injury cases.
This article summarises key data on unintentional transport hospitalised injuries and deaths. Intentional injuries and deaths involving transport are included under Self-harm injuries and suicide or Assault and homicide.
In 2017–18, transport crashes resulted in:
62,387 hospitalisation cases
252 per 100,000 population
5.8 per 100,000 population
This report only includes data on injuries that result in hospital admission or death. If a person dies from an injury after being admitted to hospital, both the hospitalisation and the death is included in this report. For more information, see Defining injury hospitalisation cases and injury deaths.
In 2017–18, over 1 in 3 transport injury hospitalisations were for car occupants (35%) and 1 in 4 (24%) transport injury hospitalisations were for motorcyclists (Table 1).
Rate (per 100,000)
Car, van or pick-up truck occupants (V40–59)
Pedal cyclists (V10–19)
Other or unspecified (V30–39, V60–99)
Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.
For more detailed data, see Data tables B1–2.
Since 2008–09, there has been:
Annual average rate changes are calculated using modelled age-standardised rates (see Technical notes for more details).
Because of changes in data collection methods, hospitalisations data for 2017–18 should not be compared with those of previous years and are not included in Figure 1 (see Technical notes for more details). Death data for 2017–18 are comparable with rates for previous years.
The visualisation features 2 matching line graphs on separate tabs, 1 for hospitalisation cases and 1 for deaths. The 3 lines represent the trend for males, females and persons from 2008–09 to 2016–17 for hospitalisation cases and to 2017–18 for deaths. The reader can select to display rate per 100,000 population or number, and can select by life-stage age group including all ages.
For more detailed data, see Data tables C1–4 and E1–4.
Transport injury hospitalisation and death rates differ for males and females, especially for certain age groups (Figure 2). In 2017–18:
The visualisation features 2 matching column graphs on separate tabs, 1 for hospitalisation cases and 1 for deaths. The columns represent sex within 6 life-stage age groups. The reader can select to display either age-specific rate per 100,000 population or number. The default displays males and females and the reader can also select to display persons.
For more detailed data, see Data tables A1–3 and D1–3.
Three measures that may indicate the severity of a hospitalised injury are length of stay, percentage of cases with time in an intensive care unit (ICU), and percentage of cases involving continuous ventilator support.
The average duration of a hospital stay for injuries due to transport crashes was similar to the average for all injury hospitalisations, while the percentages of cases that included time in an ICU and cases that involved continuous ventilator support were higher than for all hospitalised injuries in 2017–18 (Table 2).
All hospitalised injuries
Average number of days in hospital
% of cases with time in an ICU
% of cases involving ventilator
Note: Average number of days in hospital (length of stay) includes admissions that are transfers from 1 hospital to another or transfers from 1 admitted care type to another within the same hospital, except where care involves rehabilitation procedures.
In 2017–18, the head and neck was the body part most frequently injured in hospitalised transport crashes, although this varies by type of transport (Figure 3). In part, this may reflect the inherently more serious nature of head and neck injuries.
Note: Body part refers to the principal reason for hospitalisation. Number and percentage of injuries classified as Other, multiple and incompletely specified body regions or Injuries not described in terms of body region not shown—see Data table A11.
For more detailed data, see Data table A11.
Fractures were by far the most common type of injury for people who were hospitalised due to a transport crash (Figure 4).
Bar graph showing type of injury sustained by category and by sex. Fracture was the most common for both males and females but more than twice as frequent for males. Open wound was second for males, while superficial injury was second for female. The reader can select to display either the crude rate per 100,000 population or the number of cases. The default display shows data for males and females, and the reader can also select to display for persons.
For more detailed data, see Data table A12.
In 2017–18, among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:
Note: Rates are crude per 100,000 population.
Source: AIHW National Mortality Database.
In 2017–18, Indigenous Australians, compared with non-Indigenous Australians, were:
The age-specific rate of transport injury hospitalisation cases was highest among the 15–24 life-stage age group for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians (Figure 5). Deaths data are not presented because of small numbers.
The visualisation features a column graph for hospitalisation cases. The columns represent data for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by 6 life-stage age groups. The reader can select to display age-specific rate per 100,000 population or number. The reader can also select to display data for persons, males or females.
For more detailed data, see Data tables A4–A6 and D4–D8.
In 2017–18, people living in Very remote areas, compared with people living in Major cities, were:
n.p. Not publishable because of small numbers, confidentiality or other concerns about the quality of the data.
Note: Rates are age-standardised per 100,000 population.
The highest age-specific rate of transport injury hospitalisation cases was among the 15–24 life-stage age group living in Remote areas of Australia. (Figure 6).
Deaths data are not presented in Figure 6 because of small numbers (see Data tables D9–10).
The visualisation features a column graph for hospitalisation cases. The columns represent data for each of the 5 remoteness categories by 6 life-stage age groups. The reader can select to display age-specific rate per 100,000 population or number. The reader can also select to display data for persons, males or females.
For more detailed data, see Data tables A7–A9 and D9–10.
For information on how statistics by remoteness are calculated, see Technical notes.
Technical notes—read about how the data were calculated.
Data tables—download full data tables.
ACCD (Australian Consortium for Classification Development) 2017. The international statistical classification of diseases and related health problems, 10th revision, Australian modification (ICD-10-AM), 10th edn. Tabular list of diseases and alphabetic index of diseases. Adelaide: Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA), Lane Publishing.
The following list includes AIHW publications from recent years that include information on transport injuries. See Reports for any older publications that may exist.
Research provided by Flinders University
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