In-hospital Burden of On-Road Trauma: National Incidence of Injury and Linkage to Scene Geolocations


According to the Australian Automobile Association, road trauma costs the Australian economy almost $30 billion a year. In 2011, all states and territories were signatories to the National Road Safety Strategy, with the collective intent to reduce national on-road related deaths and serious injuries by at least 30 per cent by 2020. The Australian Government, via the Black Spot Program, will have contributed over $684 million towards this objective between 2013 and 2021, however, a review, due in April 2018, has found it will fail to meet this 2020 deadline despite these efforts. Annual NSW road deaths have risen for a second consecutive year, and in Victoria, despite total road deaths declining, the regional road toll has been increasing since 2013.

The Australian Trauma Registry (ATR) collates data from 26 designated trauma centres across Australia and is an invaluable source of in-hospital on-road injury data. For the 2016-17 financial year, the ATR identified that 45 percent of serious injuries were transport-related and 38 percent were on-road related. The ATR currently reports annually on severe injury (ISS>12) or death after injury, and does not provide incident geolocations.

This project will utilise a small dataset, delivered monthly, linking emergency department data and ambulance service crash site geolocations for all minor and major on-road injuries that present to an emergency department. This pilot study will commence in Victoria, with the three major trauma services and Ambulance Victoria submitting data.


It is predicted this dataset will allow for the identification of more timely trends in on-road crashes, including location, providing an opportunity for proactive solutions to be implemented in order to reduce the burden of on-road trauma on the health care system.

In time, it is anticipated that the project will roll out nationally.