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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2009–10  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2010   
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Contents >> Transport >> Accidents, injuries and fatalities

ACCIDENTS, INJURIES AND FATALITIES

Transport accident deaths

Accident costs include loss of life or injury to people, and the destruction of, and damage to equipment and infrastructure. Table 24.19 shows the number of transport-related deaths for each of the transport modes for 2006 and 2007. Transport-related deaths fell from 1,652 in 2006 to 1,340 in 2007. The majority of deaths (74% in 2007) were associated with motor vehicles driven on public roads. Pedestrian deaths fell from 254 in 2006 to 182 in 2007, while the number of pedal cyclist deaths fell from 37 to 34, and the number of water deaths fell from 36 to 31, over the same period.

24.19 DEATHS FROM TRANSPORT ACCIDENTS(a)

2006
2007

Mode(b)
Motor vehicles(c)
1 137
986
Pedestrians
254
182
Pedal cyclists
37
34
Water
36
31
Air
36
36
Other(d)
152
71
Total
1 652
1 340

(a) Based on the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10). Data in this table relates to reference year and are based on death occurring up to one year following a transport accident. Data will, therefore, differ from the traffic fatalities shown in tables 24.20 and 24.21 and graphs 24.22 and 24.23, as these data are based on year of occurrence of transport-related deaths which occur within 30 days of an incident.
(b) Mode of transport of deceased persons.
(c) Involving motor vehicles driven on public roads.
(d) Includes accidents occurring on rail, agricultural equipment, all terrain vehicles, industrial and construction vehicles, accidents involving riders of animals, and unspecified transport accidents.
Source: ABS data available on request, Causes of Death collection.

Road traffic crashes

Crashes involving fatalities

The number of fatal road traffic crashes in 2008 (1,342) fell by 111 compared with 2007 (table 24.20). Between 2007 and 2008 fatal crashes in the Northern Territory rose by 43%, while South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia recorded the greatest falls of 19%, 13% and 12% respectively.

The number of people killed was lower in 2008 (1,464) compared with 2007 (1,603) a fall of 9%. The number of people killed in the Northern Territory increased from 58 in 2007 to 75 in 2008, a rise of 29%. The number of people killed in the Australian Capital Territory remained unchanged for both years (14), while all the states recorded fewer people killed, with South Australia having the greatest fall (20%).

24.20 ROAD TRAFFIC CRASHES INVOLVING FATALITIES

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.

FATAL CRASHES

2007
405
289
338
107
214
39
47
14
1 453
2008
376
278
293
87
189
38
67
14
1 342

PEOPLE KILLED

2007
435
332
360
124
235
45
58
14
1 603
2008
397
303
327
99
209
40
75
14
1 464

Source: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.


Road traffic fatalities

The number of deaths from road traffic crashes per 100,000 persons fell from 7.6 in 2007 to 6.9 in 2008. In 1970 the rate was 30.4. Road deaths per 100,000 persons in the Northern Territory in 2008 (34.1) was significantly higher than the national rate (table 24.21). The Australian Capital Territory had the lowest rate of road deaths (4.1 per 100,000 persons) in 2008. South Australia recorded the greatest decrease in road deaths per 100,000 persons, from 7.8 in 2007 to 6.2 in 2008 (a fall of 21%), followed by Western Australia (13%) and Tasmania (12%).

The Northern Territory had the highest number of fatalities per 10,000 registered vehicles (6.1) in 2008, an increase of 24% compared with 2007. Between 2007 and 2008 fatalities per 10,000 registered vehicles fell the most in South Australia, from 1.1 to 0.8, a fall of 21%.

24.21 ROAD TRAFFIC FATALITIES

2007

2008

no.
per 100,000 persons(a)
per 10,000 motor vehicles registered(b)
no.
per 100,000 persons(a)
per 10,000 motor vehicles registered(b)

New South Wales
435
6.32
1.00
397
5.70
0.88
Victoria
332
6.40
0.87
303
5.72
0.77
Queensland
360
8.61
1.19
327
7.64
1.03
South Australia
124
7.83
1.07
99
6.18
0.84
Western Australia
235
11.16
1.40
209
9.66
1.20
Tasmania
45
9.12
1.18
40
8.03
1.02
Northern Territory
58
26.99
4.91
75
34.10
6.10
Australian Capital Territory
14
4.12
0.60
14
4.07
0.58
Australia
1 603
7.62
1.08
1 464
6.85
0.96

(a) Estimated resident population at 30 June.
(b) Number of registered motor vehicles and motor cycles (excludes tractors, caravans, plant and equipment) at 31 March.
Source: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.


Road fatalities and fatality rates - 1926 to 2008

Australian road fatalities for the period 1926 to 2008 are shown in graph 24.22. Road fatalities per 10,000 registered vehicles and 100,000 persons for the same period are shown in graph 24.23. Until 1970, each year other than during the Great Depression and World War 2 had seen a steady growth in motor vehicle ownership and a corresponding increase in road deaths. By 1970 the number of vehicles had increased twelve-fold over the number in 1926 and the road toll had increased about four times to reach its highest mark of 3,798 deaths. The number of fatalities per 100,000 people also peaked in 1970 at 30.4. The road toll in 2008 of 1,464 was around 40% of the 1970 figure, while the number of fatalities per 100,000 people (6.9) for 2008 was slightly less than a quarter of that of 1970. Also, while there were eight road fatalities per 10,000 registered vehicles in 1970, this rate has decreased to one in 2008.

24.22 Road fatalities
Graph: 24.22 Road fatalities


24.23 Road fatality rates
Graph: 24.23 Road fatality rates


Characteristics of fatal crashes

Two characteristics of fatal crashes for 2003 and 2008 are shown in table 24.24.

In both 2003 and 2008 most of fatal crashes occurred on roads where the posted speed limit was 100 kilometres per hour (km/h) and above (42% in 2008), followed by roads with a speed limit of up to 60 km/h (35%). A further 23% of fatal crashes occurred on roads with speed zones of between 65 km/h and 95 km/h.

In both 2003 and 2008 the highest proportion of fatal crashes was single vehicle crashes (44% and 49% respectively). Pedestrian crashes accounted for 16% of crash types in 2003 and 14% in 2008.

24.24 CHARACTERISTICS OF FATAL CRASHES

2003

2008

no.
%
no.
%

Speed limit at crash site
Up to 60 km/h
477
33.0
473
35.2
65-95 km/h
323
22.4
310
23.1
100 km/h and above(a)
645
44.6
559
41.7
Type of crash
Pedestrian
227
15.7
192
14.3
Single vehicle
634
43.9
653
48.7
Multiple vehicle
584
40.4
497
37.0

(a) Includes zones of unrestricted speed.
Source: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.


International comparisons of road traffic deaths

Australian road traffic deaths are compared with those for other selected OECD nations in table 24.25. Australia's rate of 7.6 road deaths per 100,000 persons in 2007 is considerably lower than the rates of Poland (14.7), the United States of America (13.6), the Republic of (South) Korea (12.7) and New Zealand (10.0). Australia's rate is, however, markedly higher than Japan and Sweden (both 5.2), Switzerland (5.1) and the United Kingdom (5.0).

Australia's rate of road deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles (1.1) was below the OECD median (1.2). For the countries listed, the Republic of (South) Korea has the highest death rate per 10,000 registered vehicles (3.2).

The number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle-kilometres travelled in Australia in 2007 (0.7) was the same as the OECD median (0.7).

24.25 ROAD TRAFFIC FATALITIES, International comparisons - 2007

People killed

Total population

Country
no.
per 100,000 persons
per 10,000 registered vehicles
per 100 mill. vehicle-km travelled
mill.

Australia
1 603.0
7.6
1.1
0.7
21.0
France
4 620
7.5
1.2
0.8
61.5
Germany
4 949
6.0
0.9
0.7
82.4
Japan
6 639
5.2
0.8
0.9
127.8
Korea, Republic of (South)
6 166
12.7
3.2
na
48.5
New Zealand
422
10.0
1.3
1.1
4.2
Poland
5 583
14.7
2.9
na
38.1
Portugal
974
9.2
na
na
10.6
Spain
3 823
8.6
na
na
44.5
Sweden
471
5.2
0.9
0.6
9.1
Switzerland
384
5.1
0.7
0.6
7.5
United Kingdom
2 946
5.0
0.9
0.6
59.2
United States of America
41 059
13.6
na
0.9
301.3
OECD median
na
7.8
1.2
0.7
na

na not available
Source: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.



Air accidents

Between 1999 and 2008 the number of aircraft involved in accidents declined by 21%, from 180 in 1999 to 143 in 2008, with a low of 92 in 2006 (graph 24.26). The number of aircraft involved in fatal accidents remained the same for both 1999 and 2008 (22), with a low of 10 in 2002. In 2008 there were 36 fatalities involving registered civil aircraft, compared with 22 in 2007. In 2008 there were 143 accidents of which 22 were fatal accidents, compared with 120 accidents of which 13 were fatal in 2007.

24.26 Air accidents, fatalities and fatal accidents(a)
Graph: 24.26 Air accidents, fatalities and fatal accidents(a)





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