Centre for Road Safety

The way we collect and define statistics

  1. Crash statistics
  2. Interactive crash statistics
  3. Definitions and notes
  4. Speeding and fatigue involvement
  5. Definitions and notes to support road crash data (download)

 

1. Crash statistics

Guidelines

Our statistics are confined to crashes that conform to the national guidelines for reporting and classifying road vehicle crashes. The guidelines include crashes that meet all of these criteria:

  • Were reported to the police
  • Occurred on a road open to the public
  • Involved at least one moving road vehicle
  • Involved at least one person being killed or injured or at least one motor vehicle being towed away.

Reports for some crashes are not received until well into the following year and after the annual crash database has been finalised. These amount to fewer than 1 per cent of recorded crashes and are counted in the following year's statistics.

Crash reporting

Before 2000, Section 8 (3) of the Traffic Act 1909 required a road crash in NSW to be reported to the police when any person was killed or injured, or there was property damage of more than $500.

On 1 December 1999, the Traffic Act was repealed and replaced by new traffic legislation including the adoption of the Australian Road Rules. The new traffic legislation is found in the Road Transport (General) Act 1999 and the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 and the regulations made under those Acts.

Rule 287 (3) of the Road Rules requires a crash to be reported to police when any person is killed or injured; when drivers involved in the crash do not exchange particulars; or when a vehicle involved in the crash is towed away.

 

2. Interactive crash statistics

Date of crash

Data presented in these displays is based on the ‘reporting year’ of the crash to police.

Road User data

In some displays the Road User values ‘Other Controller’ (e.g horse riders) and ‘Other Passenger’ (e.g train or light rail passenger) have been suppressed. However, the Grand Total will include these values.

Pedal cycle crashes

Many  non-fatal pedal cycle crashes are not reported to police. As the NSW Police Force is our only source of crash information, statistics of pedal cycle crashes could be much higher than reported.

 

3. Definitions and notes

Aboriginal
A classification of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status based on the Enhanced Reporting of Aboriginality (ERA) variable derived from linked Health datasets.
Alcohol involved in crash
Determined by whether any of the vehicle drivers or riders in the crash had an illegal level of alcohol.
Animal rider
A person sitting on or riding a horse or other animal.
Articulated truck
Any articulated tanker, semi-trailer, low loader, road train or B-double.
Bicycle rider
See Pedal cycle rider.
Bus
Includes State Transit Authority bus and long distance/tourist coach.
Car
Includes sedan, station wagon, utility (based on car design), panel van (based on car design), coupe, hatchback, sports car, passenger van and four-wheel-drive passenger vehicle.
Carriageway
That part of the road improved or designed to be ordinarily used by moving vehicles. When a road has two or more of these parts, divided by a median strip or other physical separation, each of these is a separate carriageway.
Casualty
Any person killed or injured because of a crash.
Controller
A person occupying the controlling position of a road vehicle.
Country
All local government areas except Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Wollongong and Shellharbour, and those in metropolitan Sydney.
Crash
Any unplanned event involving a road vehicle on a road that results in death, injury or towed vehicle and is reported to the police.
Crash type
The type of crash grouped according to the road user movement code recorded (see Road user movement code).
Driver
A controller of a motor vehicle other than a motorcycle.
Emergency vehicle
Includes ambulance, fire brigade vehicle, police patrol car (or van) and tow truck.
Fatal crash
A crash for which there is at least one fatality.
Fatality
A person who dies within 30 days form injuries received in a road traffic crash.
Footpath
That part of the road which is ordinarily reserved for pedestrian movement as a matter of right or custom.
Heavy truck
Any heavy rigid truck or articulated truck.
Heavy rigid truck
Any rigid lorry or rigid tanker with a tare weight in excess of 4.5 tonnes.
High Threat to Life Indicator (HTTL)
An alternative dimension of severity based on a person’s probability of survival. This metric is based on a person’s worst injury where the lowest SRR (Survival Risk Ratio) of all diagnosis codes for the first admission is used to calculate ICISS (ICD-based Injury Severity Score). ICISS values are banded into two categories and have the following survival probabilities:
Yes - at most 94.1%
No – at least 94.1%
Injury severity category
A dimension of severity based on a person’s probability of survival. This metric is based on a person’s worst injury where the lowest SRR (Survival Risk Ratio) of all diagnosis codes for the first admission is used to calculate ICISS (ICD-based Injury Severity Score). ICISS values are banded into four categories and have the following survival probabilities:
Maximum severity - at most 85.4%
High severity - between 85.4% and 96.5%
Moderate severity - between 96.5% and 99.2%
Minimum severity - at least 99.2%
Intersection crash
A crash where the first impact occurs at or within 10 metres of an intersection.
Killed
See Fatality.
LGA
The local government area where the crash occurred.
Light truck
Includes panel van (not based on car design), utility (not based on car design) and mobile vending vehicle.
Location of injury
Location of Injury is also derived from the Principal Diagnostic Code of the first linked Admitted Patient Data Collection (APDC) record of the patient. It provides a description of the region of the body the principal injury occurred.
Metropolitan
All local government areas in metropolitan Sydney, as well as Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Wollongong and Shellharbour.
Minor/Other injured
A person identified as an injury in CrashLink who is not matched to a hospital admission record or emergency department attendance record; or a previously defined No Injury CrashLink record matched to a SIRA CTP record with an MAIS score of 1 (Minor).
Moderately injured
A person identified in CrashLink (casualty or driver or rider) who is matched to an emergency department attendance record on the same day or on the day after a crash but was not killed or not subsequently admitted to hospital; or a previously defined Minor/Other or No Injury CrashLink record matched to a SIRA CTP record with a MAIS score of 2 (Moderate) or higher.
Motor vehicle
Any road vehicle that is mechanically or electrically powered but not operated on rails.
Motorcycle
Any mechanically or electronically propelled two or three-wheeled machine with or without sidecar. Includes solo motorcycle, motorcycle with sidecar, motor scooter, mini-bike, three-wheeled special mobility vehicle and moped (motorised ‘pedal cycle’).
Motorcycle passenger
A person on but not controlling a motorcycle.
Motorcycle rider
A person occupying the controlling position of a motorcycle.
Motorcyclist
Includes motorcycle riders and motorcycle passengers.
Natural lighting conditions
The natural lighting at the time of the crash.
Nature of injury
Nature of Injury is derived from the Principal Diagnostic Code of the first linked Admitted Patient Data Collection (APDC) record of the patient. It describes the kind of injury sustained by the person.
Newcastle metropolitan area
The local government areas of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie cities.
Non-casualty crash
A crash in which at least one vehicle is towed away where there is no death and no person injured.
Passenger
Any person, other than the controller, who is in, on, boarding, entering, alighting or falling from a road vehicle at the time of the crash, provided a portion of the person is in or on the road vehicle.
Pedal cycle
Any two or three-wheeled device operated solely by pedals and propelled by human power except toy vehicles or other pedestrian conveyances. Includes bicycles with side-car, trailer or training wheels attached.
Pedal cycle passenger
A person on but not controlling a pedal cycle.
Pedal cycle rider
A person occupying the controlling position of a pedal cycle.
Pedal cyclist
Includes pedal cycle riders and pedal cycle passengers.
Pedestrian
Any person who is not in, on, boarding, entering, alighting or falling from a road vehicle at the time of the crash.
Pedestrian conveyance
Any device, ordinarily operated on the footpath, by which a pedestrian may move, or by which a pedestrian may move another pedestrian or goods. Includes non-motorised scooter, pedal car, skateboard, roller skates, in-line skates, toy tricycle, unicycle, push cart, sled, trolley, non-motorised go-cart, billycart, pram, wheelbarrow, handbarrow, non-motorised wheelchair or any other toy device used as a means of mobility.
Reporting year
The year in which the crash was recorded for reporting purposes.
RMS Region
A proxy for Road and Maritime Services (RMS) Region derived from the location of the hospital where the person was first admitted.
Road
The area devoted to public travel within a surveyed road reserve. Includes a footpath and cycle path inside the road reserve and a median strip or traffic island.
Road vehicle
Any device (except pedestrian conveyance) upon which or by which any person or property may be transported or drawn on a road.
Road surface condition
The condition of the road surface at the crash location (e.g. wet, dry).
Road user
The class of road user (e.g. driver, pedestrian).
Road user movement code
The road user movement or RUM code describing the first impact for the crash. Definitions and notes (PDF 280kB) contains details of each RUM code in Appendix A.
Serious injury status
Total serious injuries comprise two categories: those persons that are matched to a police report and those persons that are not matched to a police report.
Seriously injured (matched)
A person identified in CrashLink (casualty or driver or rider) who is matched to a hospital admission record on the same day or on the day after a crash and did not die within 30 days of the crash, and is admitted with at least one injury diagnosis; or linked to an iCare (Lifetime Care) participant record.
Seriously injured (unmatched)
A person not matched to a police report but has been identified as having an injury on a public road or injury on a traffic-public road for the hospital stay.
Sydney metropolitan area
The local government areas of Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Camden, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Inner West, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Liverpool, Mosman, North Sydney, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Randwick, Ryde, Strathfield, Sutherland, Sydney, The Hills, Waverley, Willoughby and Woollahra.
Weather
The weather conditions at the time of the crash.
Wollongong metropolitan area
The local government areas of Wollongong and Shellharbour cities.

4. Speeding and fatigue involvement

Speeding

It is not always clear from police reports if speeding (excessive speed for the prevailing conditions) was a contributing factor in a road crash. We consider speeding to have been a contributing factor if at least one speeding motor vehicle was in a crash. We say a motor vehicle was speeding if it meets any of these conditions:

  • The vehicle's driver or rider was charged with a speeding offence
  • Police said the vehicle was travelling at excessive speed
  • The speed of the vehicle was faster than that allowed for the licence class of the driver or rider, or the vehicle weight (introduced 1 January 2010)
  • The speed of the vehicle was higher than the speed limit
  • While on a curve the vehicle jack-knifed, skidded, slid or the controller lost control
  • The vehicle ran off the road on a bend or turning a corner and the driver or rider was not distracted by something, or affected by drowsiness or sudden illness, and was not swerving to avoid another vehicle, animal or object, and the vehicle did not have equipment failure

Fatigue

It is not always clear from police reports if fatigue was a contributing factor in a road crash. We consider fatigue to have been a contributing factor if at least one fatigued motor vehicle controller was in a road crash. We define a motor vehicle controller to be fatigued if they meet any of these conditions:

  • Police said the motor vehicle driver or rider was asleep, drowsy or tired
  • The vehicle travelled onto the incorrect side of a straight road and had a head-on collision (and was not overtaking another vehicle and no other relevant factor was found)
  • The vehicle ran off a straight road or off the road to the outside of a curve and the vehicle was not travelling at excessive speed and there was no other relevant factor found for the crash

5. Definitions and notes to support road crash data(download)

Definitions and notes (PDF 280kB) is a document that contains all the information on this page. It also has definitions of each road user movement (RUM) code in Appendix A.

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