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Fatal motorcycle crashes in north Queensland : characteristics and potential interventions

Blackman, Ross A., Steinhardt, Dale A., & Veitch, Craig (2009) Fatal motorcycle crashes in north Queensland : characteristics and potential interventions. In Gregory, Gordon (Ed.) Proceedings of 10th National Rural Health Conference, National Rural Health Alliance, Cairns, Queensland.

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Abstract

Aims: The Rural and Remote Road Safety Study (RRRSS) addresses a recognised need for greater research on road trauma in rural and remote Australia, the costs of which are disproportionately high compared with urban areas. The 5-year multi-phase study with whole-of-government support concluded in June 2008. Drawing on RRRSS data, we analysed fatal motorcycle crashes which occurred over 39 months to provide a description of crash characteristics, contributing factors and people involved. The descriptive analysis and discussion may inform development of tailored motorcycle safety interventions.
Methods: RRRSS criteria sought vehicle crashes resulting in death or hospitalisation for 24 hours minimum of at least 1 person aged 16 years or over, in the study area defined roughly as the Queensland area north from Bowen in the east and Boulia in the west (excluding Townsville and Cairns urban areas). Fatal motorcycle crashes were selected from the RRRSS dataset. Analysis considered medical data covering injury types and severity, evidence of alcohol, drugs and prior medical conditions, as well as crash descriptions supplied by police to Queensland Transport on contributing circumstances, vehicle types, environmental conditions and people involved. Crash data were plotted in a geographic information system (MapInfo) for spatial analysis.
Results: There were 23 deaths from 22 motorcycle crashes on public roads meeting RRRSS criteria. Of these, half were single vehicle crashes and half involved 2 or more vehicles. In contrast to general patterns for driver/rider age distribution in crashes, riders below 25 years of age were represented proportionally within the population. Riders in their thirties comprised 41% of fatalities, with a further 36% accounted for by riders in their fifties. 18 crashes occurred in the Far North Statistical Division (SD), with 2 crashes in both the Northern and North West SDs. Behavioural factors comprised the vast majority of contributing circumstances cited by police, with adverse environmental conditions noted in only 4 cases. Conclusions: Fatal motorcycle crashes were more likely to involve another vehicle and less likely to involve a young rider than non-fatal crashes recorded by the RRRSS. Rider behaviour contributed to the majority of crashes and should be a major focus of research, education and policy development, while other road users’ behaviour and awareness also remains important. With 68% of crashes occurring on major and secondary roads within a 130km radius of Cairns, efforts should focus on this geographic area.

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ID Code: 27980
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional Information: The contents of the proceedings can been freely accessed via the conference's webiste.
Keywords: Motorcycle, Fatal, Crash, Rural, North Queensland
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 National Rural Health Alliance
Deposited On: 19 Oct 2009 11:13
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2011 04:04

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