Accidents: injuries and fatalities in NSW


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Accidents: injuries and fatalities in NSW

New South Wales (NSW) has seen a decline in the rate of injury and fatality resulting from accidents in the workplace and on the roadi,ii. However, a large percentage of fatal crashes on NSW's roads are affected by factors such as speeding, alcohol and fatigueii.


Critical injuries from accidents continue to impact the lives of people in New South Wales.

Injury

In financial year (FY) 2010-2011, there were 143,325 hospitalisations due to injury and poisoning in NSWiii. However in FY2009-2010, NSW had lower rates of injury for transport accidents than the national average, with 245.1 cases per 100,000 population (age standardised)iv.

At the same time, NSW was the state with the fourth highest rate of hospitalisation due to injuries from falls, with 705 per 100,000 population (age standardised) reported that yearv. Data collected by the NSW Institute of Trauma and Injury Management showed the number of injuries sustained from fall accidents exceeded those of road trauma injuries in 2009vi. Injuries to the head - commonly associated with falls from less than five metresvii - were found to be the most common form of injury. In 2009, they accounted for more than 70 per cent of critical injuriesvi. In NSW, the trends also show that risk of trauma from injury increases with ageviii.

Road injury

In 2011, there were 377 road deaths in NSW, a decline from 561 in 2002ix. 190 drivers and 73 passengers accounted for the majority of road deaths, followed by 52 pedestrians, 52 motorcyclists, and 10 pedal cyclistsx. The 377 fatalities can be attributed to 349 recorded road crashesxi. The majority were single-vehicle crashes, followed by multiple vehicle crashes and crashes involving pedestriansxi.

Over nine years, from 2002 to 2011, there has been an overall decline in fatal crashes as well as road fatalities across all groups of road usersx,xi. Along with South Australia, NSW displayed the strongest downward trend in rates of road fatalities, a decrease of 5.4 per cent, which was above the nationwide decrease of 4.3 per centxii.

Causes of injury and fatality

In FY2010-2011, there were 54 workplace fatalities in NSWxiii. The three industry sectors with the highest fatality rates were transport, postal and warehousing; agriculture, forestry and fishing; and construction. Between FY2003-2004 and FY2010-2011, there were 163 deaths in transport, postal and warehousing, 109 in agriculture, forestry and fishing and 100 in constructionxiv.

On the road, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, and not wearing seatbelts are major causes of accidents, injuries and fatalities. In 2011, at least 16 per cent of motor vehicle occupants killed were not wearing seatbelts. Speeding and alcohol were contributing factors in 41 per cent and 23 per cent of all fatal crashes respectivelyii. In 2011, fatigue was found to be a factor in at least 19 per cent of fatal crashes in NSWii.

Many injuries are preventable. Improved infrastructure design, safe driving, and knowledge of workplace safety are key to reducing injuries and fatalities.

Impact on health system

Apart from improving current trauma patient care, the NSW health system faces challenges of providing better and faster access to sufficiently-equipped trauma care facilities. In addition, with an ageing population, hospital admissions due to fall-related injuries are projected to increase more than ten-fold by 2051xv.

The nature of accidents means they tend to occur unexpectedly. You can reduce the stress from the unexpected by taking out life insurance today - being covered means you can help you and your family by providing financial security in the event of an accident. Contact Allianz today for more information on the types of life insurance cover we can offer, or apply online in just 12 minutes.


i WorkCover 2012, WorkCover NSW Annual Report 2011-2, NSW Government, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/formspublications/publications/Documents/workcover-annual-report-201112-3908.pdf
, p. 13

ii Roads and Maritime Services 2011, Road Traffic Crashes in NSW, NSW Government, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/downloads/crashstats2011.pdf, p. 7

iii Health NSW 2012, Health Statistics Admitted Patient Report 2012, NSW Government, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www0.health.nsw.gov.au/pubs/2012/pdf/admitted_patient_rpt2012.pdf
, p. v

iv Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2012, Hospital separations due to injury and poisoning, Australian Government, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129542183
, p. 24

v Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2012, Hospital separations due to injury and poisoning, Australian Government, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129542183
, p. 75

vi Institute of Trauma and Injury Management 2009, The NSW Trauma Registry Profile of Serious to Critical Injuries, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www.itim.nsw.gov.au/images/7/78/The_NSW_Trauma_Registry_Profile_of_Serious_to_Critical_Injuries_2009.pdf
, p. 3

vii Institute of Trauma and Injury Management 2009, The NSW Trauma Registry Profile of Serious to Critical Injuries, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www.itim.nsw.gov.au/images/7/78/The_NSW_Trauma_Registry_Profile_of_Serious_to_Critical_Injuries_2009.pdf
, p. 20

viii Institute of Trauma and Injury Management 2009, The NSW Trauma Registry Profile of Serious to Critical Injuries, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www.itim.nsw.gov.au/images/7/78/The_NSW_Trauma_Registry_Profile_of_Serious_to_Critical_Injuries_2009.pdf
, p. 10

ix Bureau of Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Economics (BITRE) 2012, Road Deaths Australia 2011 Statistical Summary, Australian Government, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www.bitre.gov.au/publications/ongoing/files/RDA_Summary_2011.pdf
, p. 2

x Bureau of Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Economics (BITRE) 2012, Road Deaths Australia 2011 Statistical Summary, Australian Government, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www.bitre.gov.au/publications/ongoing/files/RDA_Summary_2011.pdf
, p. 3

xi Bureau of Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Economics (BITRE) 2012, Road Deaths Australia 2011 Statistical Summary, Australian Government, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www.bitre.gov.au/publications/ongoing/files/RDA_Summary_2011.pdf
, p. 25

xii Bureau of Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Economics (BITRE) 2012, Road Deaths Australia 2011 Statistical Summary, Australian Government, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www.bitre.gov.au/publications/ongoing/files/RDA_Summary_2011.pdf
, p. 19

xiii Safe Work Australia 2012, Work-related traumatic injury fatalities Australia 2010-2011, Australian Government, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/730/WorkRelatedTraumaticInjuryFatalities2010-11.pdf
, p. 11

xiv Safe Work Australia 2012, Work-related traumatic injury fatalities Australia 2010-2011, Australian Government, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/730/WorkRelatedTraumaticInjuryFatalities2010-11.pdf
, p. 13

xv Watson et al. 2011, Projections of hospitalised fall-related injury in NSW, Australia: impacts on the hospital and aged-care sectors, viewed 3 December 2013,
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22152266