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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/02/2008   
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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 24.16 shows the number of transport-related deaths for each of the transport modes for 2004 and 2005. Transport-related deaths fell from 1,689 in 2004 to 1,638 in 2005. The majority of deaths (73% in 2005) were associated with motor vehicles driven on public roads. Pedestrian deaths fell from 270 in 2004 to 250 in 2005, while the number of pedal cyclist deaths fell from 41 to 31 (24%) over the same period.

24.16 DEATHS FROM TRANSPORT ACCIDENTS(a)

Mode(b)
2004
2005

Motor vehicles(c)
1 147
1 188
Pedestrians
270
250
Pedal cyclists
41
31
Water
40
25
Air
49
37
Other(d)
142
107
Total
1 689
1 638

(a) Based on the International Classification of Deaths, Edition 10 (ICD-10). Data in this table relate to year of registration of death 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 24.17 and 24.18 and graphs 24.19 and 24.20, 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 riders of animals, agricultural equipment, all-terrain vehicles, industrial and construction vehicles, 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 2006 (1,456) fell by 16 compared with 2005 (table 24.17). Between 2005 and 2006 fatal crashes in Western Australia rose by 21%, while the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania recorded falls of 52%, 24%, 18% and 14% respectively.

24.17 ROAD TRAFFIC CRASHES INVOLVING FATALITIES

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

FATAL CRASHES

2005
459
314
296
127
151
49
51
25
1 472
2006
453
309
314
104
183
42
39
12
1 456

PEOPLE KILLED

2005
508
346
330
148
163
51
55
26
1 627
2006
500
337
336
117
202
54
42
13
1 601

Source: Australian Transport Safety Bureau.


The number of people killed was lower in 2006 (1,601) compared with 2005, falling 1.6%. The number of people killed in Western Australia rose from 163 in 2005 to 202 in 2006. The number of people killed in the Australian Capital Territory fell from 26 in 2005 to 13 in 2006.

Road traffic fatalities

The number of deaths from road traffic crashes per 100,000 persons fell from 8.0 in 2005 to 7.8 in 2006. In 1970 the rate was 30.4. Road deaths per 100,000 persons in the Northern Territory in 2006 (20.3) was significantly higher than the national rate (table 24.18). The Australian Capital Territory had the lowest rate of road deaths (4.0 per 100,000 persons) in 2006. Western Australia recorded the greatest increase in road deaths per 100,000 persons, from 8.1 in 2005 to 9.9 in 2006, while the Australian Capital Territory recorded the greatest decrease in road deaths per 100,000 persons between 2005 and 2006, from 8.0 to 4.0.


24.18 ROAD TRAFFIC FATALITIES

2005
2006
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
508
7.5
1.2
500
7.3
1.2
Victoria
346
6.9
1.0
337
6.6
1.0
Queensland
330
8.3
1.2
336
8.3
1.2
South Australia
148
9.6
1.3
117
7.5
1.0
Western Australia
163
8.1
1.1
202
9.9
1.3
Tasmania
51
10.5
1.4
54
11.0
1.4
Northern Territory
55
27.0
5.0
42
20.3
3.7
Australian Capital Territory
26
8.0
1.2
13
4.0
0.6
Australia
1 627
8.0
1.2
1 601
7.8
1.1

(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: Motor Vehicle Census, Australia (9309.0); Australian Transport Safety Bureau.


The Northern Territory had the highest number of fatalities per 10,000 registered vehicles (3.7) in 2006. Between 2005 and 2006 fatalities per 10,000 registered vehicles fell in the Australian Capital Territory from 1.2 to 0.6.

Road fatalities and fatality rates - 1926 to 2006

Australian road fatalities for the period 1926 to 2006 are shown in graph 24.19. Road fatalities per 10,000 registered vehicles and 100,000 persons for the same period are shown in graph 24.20.
24.19 Road fatalities - 1926 to 2006
Graph: 24.19 Road fatalities—1926 to 2006


24.20 Road fatality rates - 1926 to 2006
Graph: 24.20 Road fatality rates—1926 to 2006

Until 1970, each year other than during the Depression and World War II 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 2006 of 1,601 was less than half the 1970 figure, while the number of fatalities per 100,000 people (8.0) for 2006 was less than a third of that of 1970. Also, while there were 8.0 road fatalities per 10,000 registered vehicles in 1970, this rate has decreased to 1.1 in 2006.

Characteristics of fatal crashes

Two characteristics of fatal crashes for 2001 and 2006 are shown in table 24.21.

24.21 CHARACTERISTICS OF FATAL CRASHES

2001
2006
no.
%
no.
%

Speed limit at crash site
Up to 60 km/h
518.0
33.9
434.0
32.9
65-95 km/h
301.0
19.7
309.0
23.4
100 km/h and above(a)
707.0
46.3
575.0
43.6
Type of crash
Pedestrian
290.0
18.3
220.0
15.1
Single vehicle
648.0
40.9
685.0
47.0
Multiple vehicle
646.0
40.8
551.0
37.8

(a) Includes zones of unrestricted speed.
Source: Australian Transport Safety Bureau.


In both 2001 and 2006 the majority of fatal crashes occurred on roads where the posted speed limit was 100 kilometres/hour (km/h) and above (44% in 2006), followed by roads with a speed limit of up to 60 km/h (33%). A further 23% of fatal crashes occurred on roads with speed zones of between 65 km/h and 95 km/h.

In both 2001 and 2006 the highest proportion of fatal crashes was single vehicle crashes (41% and 47% respectively). Pedestrian crashes accounted for 18% of crash types in 2001 and 15% in 2006.

International comparisons of road traffic deaths

Australian road traffic deaths are compared with those for other selected OECD nations in table 24.22. Australia's rate of 8.0 road deaths per 100,000 persons in 2005 is considerably lower than the rates of the United States of America (14.7), Poland (14.3), the Republic of (South) Korea (13.2) and Portugal (11.8). Australia's rate is, however, markedly higher than Sweden (4.9) and Switzerland and the United Kingdom (5.5).

24.22 ROAD TRAFFIC FATALITIES, International comparisons - 2005

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

Australia
1 627
8.0
1.2
0.8
20.3
France
5 318
8.8
1.4
1.0
60.6
Germany
5 361
6.5
1.0
0.8
82.5
Japan
7 931
6.2
1.0
1.0
127.8
Korea, Republic of (South)
6 376
13.2
3.4
1.9
48.3
New Zealand
405
9.9
1.3
na
4.1
Poland
5 444
14.3
3.2
na
38.2
Portugal
1 247
11.8
2.3
na
10.6
Spain
4 442
10.2
1.6
na
43.5
Sweden
440
4.9
0.9
0.6
9.0
Switzerland
409
5.5
0.8
0.7
7.4
United Kingdom
3 201
5.5
1.0
0.6
58.5
United States of America
43 443
14.7
1.8
na
296.4
OECD median
na
9.5
1.4
0.9
na

na not available
Source: Australian Transport Safety Bureau.


Australia's rate of road deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles (1.2) was below the OECD median (1.4). For the countries listed, the Republic of (South) Korea has the highest death rate per 10,000 registered vehicles (3.4).

The number of fatalities per 100 mill. vehicle-kilometres travelled in Australia in 2005 (0.8) was slightly lower than the OECD median (0.9).


Air accidents

Since 1996 the number of aircraft accidents has declined by 56%, from 203 in 1996 to 89 in 2006 (graph 24.23). The number of fatal accidents fell from 23 to 18 over the same period. In 2006 there were 33 fatalities involving registered civil aircraft, compared with 19 in 2005. In 2006 there were 89 accidents of which 18 were fatal, compared with 109 accidents of which 12 were fatal in 2005.

24.23 Air accidents, fatalities and fatal accidents(a)
Graph: 24.23 Air accidents, fatalities and fatal accidents(a)





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