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by Tim Beissmann

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are almost three times more likely to die in a land transport accident than other Australians.

According to an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare study conducted between 2003 and 2008, there were 2.7 times more fatalities and 20 percent more serious injuries among indigenous Australians compared with other Australians.

Transport-related injury was the second leading cause of fatal injury among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (26 percent), behind suicide.

The fatal injury rate among indigenous car occupants was 2.9 times that of other Australian car occupants, while the fatal injury rate of pedestrians was 5.5 times that of other Australians.

For every 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 135 were seriously injured in land transport accidents per year, compared with 85 per 100,000 for non-indigenous Australians.

In general, the report found the remoteness of a person’s usual residence was the major contributing factor to the outcome.

Around 70 percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were fatally injured and 60 percent who were seriously injured lived in outer regional, remote or very remote areas. Conversely, almost 80 percent of other Australians who were fatally or seriously injured lived in major cities or inner regional areas.

Other factors may include poor rural road conditions, lack of footpaths and street lighting, and a lack of focus on road safety messages in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.




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