Road traffic injury hospitalisations

This section presents statistics on road traffic injury hospitalisations, by mode of transport.

Traffic-related deaths and injuries are the main health impact of road transport in New Zealand [1]. The New Zealand Burden of Disease Study found that transport injuries made up about 33% of overall health loss due to all injuries in New Zealand in 2006 [2].

Road traffic injury hospitalisation rates are presented by transport mode. In particular, pedestrians and cyclists can be considered as ‘vulnerable road users’, as they tend to suffer more severe injuries from collisions.

On this page

Traffic injury hospitalisations have decreased from 2000 to 2015.
Motorcyclists and cyclists were at a higher risk of traffic injury hospitalisations per time spent travelling.
Males had higher rates for traffic injury hospitalisations than females.
Māori, Pacific peoples and Asians had a higher rate of pedestrian injury hospitalisations than European/Others.
People living in more deprived areas had higher rates of traffic injury hospitalisations. 
There were large DHB differences in traffic injury hospitalisation rates. 

Road traffic injury hospitalisations have decreased from 2000 to 2015

In 2015, there were 3512 hospitalisations for road traffic injuries in New Zealand. This included 2115 occupant injury, 833 motorcyclist injury, 397 pedestrian injury and 141 cyclist injury hospitalisations. 

There was a decreasing trend in the hospitalisation rates for all road traffic injuries and vehicle occupant injuries (Figure 1).  

Figure 1:

Motorcyclists and cyclists were at a higher risk of traffic injury hospitalisations per million hours spent travelling

In 2011–14, for every million hours of travelling time, there were 131.7 motorcyclist hospitalisations and 6.7 cyclist hospitalisations, compared to 1.5 vehicle occupant hospitalisations and 1.8 pedestrian hospitalisations (Figure 2).

Figure 2:

Except for motorcyclists, the risk of road traffic injury hospitalisations per million hours travelled has decreased for users of other modes of transport from 2004-2007 to 2011-2014.

 Males had higher rates for traffic injury hospitalisations

In 2015, males had significantly higher rates than females for pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist, and vehicle occupant injury hospitalisations (Figure 3).

The rate was especially higher for male motorcyclist hospitalisations compared to females (32.0 vs 4.6 per 100,000 population).

Figure 3: 

Māori and Pacific Peoples had higher rates of road traffic injury hospitalisations

In 2015, Māori and Pacific Peoples had much higher rates of vehicle occupant injury hospitalisations than Asians and Europeans/Others (Figure 4). Māori, Pacific Peoples and Asians had higher rates of pedestrian injury hospitalisations than other people. Māori and Europeans/Others had higher rates of motorcyclist injury hospitalisations.

Figure 4:

Higher rates of traffic injury hospitalisations in more deprived areas

In 2015, the rates of pedestrian, motorcyclist and vehicle occupant injury hospitalisations were higher for people living in more socioeconomically deprived areas (Figure 5).

Figure 5: 

Large DHB differences in traffic injury hospitalisations

In 2015, West Coast District Health Board (DHB) had the highest rate of traffic injury hospitalisations, followed by Northland DHB (Figure 6). In comparison, Capital and Coast DHB had the lowest rate.

Compared to the national traffic injury hospitalisation rate, the rate was significantly higher in Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Whanganui, MidCentral and West Coast DHBs. The traffic injury hospitalisation rate was significantly lower than the national rate in Hutt Valley, Capital and Coast, Nelson/Marlborough and Canterbury DHBs.

Figure 6: 

In 2011-2015, for pedestrian injury hospitalisations, the rate for Auckland DHB was significantly higher than the national rate. Meanwhile, the rate was significantly lower in MidCentral, Nelson/Marlborough, and Canterbury DHBs.

For cyclist injury hospitalisations, Auckland and Canterbury DHBs had significantly higher rates than the national rate, while Northland, Counties Manukau, and Southern DHBs had significantly lower rates in 2011-2015. 

Information about the data

Road traffic injury hospitalisations

Source:

  • National Minimum Dataset (NMDS), Ministry of Health
  • New Zealand Household Travel Survey, Ministry of Transport.

Definition: The number and rate of road traffic injury hospitalisations, by mode of transport.  ‘All traffic injuries’ included occupant injury (injury of driver or passenger of three or four-wheeled motor vehicles), motorcyclist injury, pedestrian injury, cyclist injury, other injury and unspecified injury.

For more information, see the metadata

References

1. Briggs, D., Mason, K., Borman, B. 2016. Rapid assessment of environmental health impacts for policy support: The example of road transport in New Zealand. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 13: 61.

2. Ministry of Health and ACC. 2013. Injury-related Health Loss: A report from the New Zealand Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study 2006–2016. Wellington: Ministry of Health.