Road Transport Casualties
The death rate directly attributed to road transport incidents for ACT children and young people aged 0-25 years.
What do we measure?
The number of children and young people by age and road user type, whose underlying cause of death was determined to be the direct result of a road transport incident.
Why is this important?
During adolescence young people face new challenges, learn new skills and lead more independent lives. Risk taking behaviour can be part of this development.
Globally, road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for young persons under the age of 25.20 This indicator provides a measure of trends in road safety behaviours for children and young people.
Young people are significantly over-represented among those killed in road traffic accidents, with young drivers more likely to engage in risky driving behaviours.21 Information from this indicator is valuable to inform government policies and initiatives to improve road safety behaviours for children and young people. An example is the Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth (PARTY) program provided at the Canberra Hospital which is aimed at providing teenagers with information about trauma that will enable them to recognise potential injury-producing situations, make prevention-oriented choices, and adopt behaviours that minimise unnecessary risk. Sixteen programs are run each school year, and 1,377 students have been through this program since 2015. Formal analysis of the program is planned for 2019.
In addition, a Drug Strategy Action Plan 2018-202122 is currently under development by the ACT Government that will include key actions to reduce alcohol and other-drug-related emergency department presentations. This action plan will also include public education on driver impairment and inattention, and the Interlock program which seeks to prevent road transport casualties* caused by drink driving offenders.
* Transport Casualties have been defined as land transport accidents that were specified as having occurred on a public traffic way.
How is the ACT progressing?
Source: Causes of Death Unit Record File (CODURF) 2015 version. While the national rate shows a downward trend, a trend in the ACT rate cannot be identified due to the low numbers of road transport deaths of ACT residents. These low numbers also limit the ability to determine if ACT rates are indeed lower than Australian rates using statistical analysis.
20 AIHW 2011, Young Australians: Their Health and Wellbeing, cat. no. PHE 140, p.31, Canberra.
21 Ibid, p.31.
22 ACT Health Directorate, ACT Drug Strategy ACtion Plan 2018–2021, Draf version as at June 2018.