Land transport

Land transport accidents accounted for 0.7% of all hospitalisations and 11.4% of all hospitalisations due to injury in Australia during 2006–07.

There were 52,066 persons seriously injured due to land transport injury, resulting in 232,290 patient days in hospital and a mean length of stay of 4.5 days.

Of those seriously injured, 63.0% (n = 32,777) were due to traffic (on-road) accidents, while 26.2% (n = 13,639) were due to non-traffic (off-road) accidents. For 10.9% (n = 5,650) of serious injury cases, the location was not specified.

Males were 2.2 times more likely than females to be seriously injured as a result of a land transport accident, while just over 50% of those seriously injured were aged less than 30 years.

When looking at mode of transport, car occupants accounted for 34.8% (n = 18,128) of all serious injury cases, followed by motorcyclists (26.4%, n = 13,726) and pedal cyclists (17.8%, n = 9,246).

For traffic (on-road) accidents, 49.5% of those seriously injured were car occupants, 22.3% were motorcyclists and 14.6% were pedal cyclists, while for non-traffic (off-road) accidents, 43.4% were motorcyclists, 30.6% were pedal cyclists and only 9.5% were car occupants.

Road vehicle traffic crashes

For those seriously injured due to traffic (on-road) accidents, 28.2% were judged to be suffering from injuries which were considered to be high threat to life.

When looking at injury rates in relation to the number of registered vehicles, motorcyclists had by far the highest rate of 1,430 serious injury cases per 100,000 registered vehicles. This was more than 10 times the rate for car occupants.

When looking at injury rates in relation to the number of kilometres travelled, motorcyclists also had by far the highest rate of 385 serious injury cases per 100 million kilometres travelled. This was more than 37 times the rate for car occupants.


For the period from 2000-01 to 2006-07, there was an increase of 47% in age-standardised rates of serious injury for motorcyclists and an increase of 47% in rates for pedal cyclists. All other modes of transport recorded only relatively small changes in rates over this period. A similar pattern was seen for those seriously injured with high threat to life injuries.

Rates for the Northern Territory remained higher than those for all other jurisdictions over the entire period from 2000–01 to 2006–07. The difference in rates between the Northern Territory and other jurisdictions over this period was even more pronounced when only high threat to life cases were considered.