Objective: Pedestrian road trauma is significant in Australia and requires in-depth understanding to improve or inform new countermeasures. Analyses on single data sources can be limited. This study investigated demographic, behavioral, environmental, and collision characteristics of pedestrian injury in Victoria, Australia, over a 5-year period using multiple data sources.
Methods: Victorian state police, hospital presentation, hospital admission, and coronial data sets were analyzed and compared for the years 2004 to 2008.
Results: Analyses identified 3,702 police-recorded pedestrian casualties (deaths and injuries, of which 256 were deaths), 5,008 pedestrian traffic-related hospital presentations, and 2,802 pedestrian admissions. Trend analyses showed significant increases in police casualty and hospitalization rates per 100,000 population. Age groups most commonly involved were those aged 18–24 especially on weekends, 75+ especially on weekday days, and 13- to 17-year-olds especially at school commute times. Proportionally more cases were male in all data sets. One quarter of coroner-examined deaths involved alcohol and one third involved drugs. Two thirds of police-recorded casualties occurred on weekdays, and 45% of weekend casualties occurred at night. Most casualties occurred in urban areas (95%), in lower-speed zones (78%); however, 79% of rural casualties occurred in high-speed zones, of which more were fatal. Over half did not occur at intersections. The most common injuries were fractures as well as multiple injuries, which together with intracranial injuries, were most common among fatalities (50 and 34%, respectively). Serious injury was more likely in older pedestrians, in males, in rural areas, in 60–80 km/h zones, in areas with poor lighting, while crossing a carriageway, not at an intersection, and when struck by a heavy vehicle.
Conclusions: Findings indicate pedestrian serious injury rates are increasing and identify targets for countermeasures. Inherent limitations present in each relevant data collection require mutliple data sets to be explored and results contrasted. Jurisdictions seeking to determine pedestrian injury risk factors should aim to link police and hospital data for a complete analysis.