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Centre for Road Safety

A serious injury in the context of road safety is defined as a person injured in a road crash who requires hospital admission.

By linking data from NSW Health, the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), icare (Insurance & Care NSW) and the NSW Police Force, Transport for NSW has identified the number of serious injuries from crashes on NSW public roads.

Our interactive crash statistics provide evidence on serious injuries that was not previously available. It enables us to better research and analyse road trauma and target road safety initiatives to reduce serious injuries.

Our Serious Injuries in NSW, 2005 to 2015 (PDF, 3.8Mb) report has detailed information and explains our data linkage methodology.

The study found that many road-related serious injuries identified from hospital admission records were not reported to police or could not be linked to a police crash report. This group of serious injuries (those not matched to a police report) is under further research.

NSW Serious Injuries - Quarterly (PDF, 2MB) has recent information on serious injury trends.

Change in serious injuries numbers

In mid-2017 NSW Health made a change to its Hospital Admission Policy whereby Emergency Department (ED) Only Admissions were no longer considered admitted patients and included in the Admitted Patient Data Collection (APDC).

The reduction in serious injury numbers reported in recent editions of the Serious Injury Quarterly Bulletin during 2018 can now be largely explained by this change in Admission Policy.

As ED Only Admissions will no longer be included in the APDC going forward, the decision was made to retrospectively recast all ED Only Admissions in the existing hospitalisation trends so that they will be comparable with the ongoing admission data.

Serious injury numbers have subsequently been recast and applied to the latest NSW Serious Injuries - Quarterly (PDF, 2MB) and our interactive crash statistics.

Serious injuries (all hospitalised injuries)

Serious injuries are those persons admitted to hospital because of injuries from a crash, who did not die within 30 days of the crash. Total serious injuries comprise both those matched to police reports, as well as those that could not be matched.

Serious injuries matched to police reports

A person identified in the police crash report data (casualty or traffic unit controller) matched to a hospital stay that is not an ED-only admission (unless that ended in a transfer interstate, to private hospital or other medical facility) containing an injury diagnosis on the same day or the day after a crash and did not die within 30 days of the crash; or linked to a Lifetime Care participant record.

Serious injuries not matched to police reports

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 that is not an ED-only admission (unless that ended in a transfer interstate, to private hospital or other medical facility).