Hospitalisation rates for injuries due to non-traffic crashes among New South Wales (NSW) residents has increased over the past ten years, despite fatalities due to road crashes declining, according to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia.
Non-traffic crashes are those involving any vehicles that occur anywhere other than on a public highway.
AdvertisementDr Julie Hatfield and Dr Shanley Chong, from the NSW Injury Risk Management Research Centre at the University of NSW, with Dr Wei Du from the George Institute for International Heath at the University of Sydney, conducted a study to examine the trends in hospitalization rates for injuries due to non-traffic crashes among NSW residents.
Dr Hatfield said the study identified 37 480 NSW residents admitted to hospitals for injuries relating to non-traffic crashes between July 1998 to June 2007.
"This study shows a significant overall increase in the rate of hospitalisation for injuries resulting from non-traffic crashes among NSW residents with the annual rate of hospitalisation for injury increasing 0.7 per cent per annum," Dr Hatfield said.
"These findings suggest that the road safety initiatives which have contributed to a significant reduction in overall road-related injuries in NSW are less effective in preventing non-traffic related injuries, especially for users of motorcycles, pedal cycles and off-road vehicles.
"This study highlights a need to investigate the factors which contribute to non-traffic crashes, so that we can identify possible counter measures.
"Although non-traffic crashes can be expected to benefit from some initiatives that reduce traffic crashes — for example, improvements to vehicles and protective equipment — not much can be done by way of investment in roads, or behaviour modification through enforcement.
"These findings call for continuing and specific effort to prevent road non-traffic injuries."
The Medical Journal of Australia is a publication of the Australian Medical Association.
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