gms | German Medical Science

Joint German Congress of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery

02. - 06.10.2006, Berlin

The economic costs of raod traffic crashes in Australia 2003

Meeting Abstract

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  • L.B. Connelly - University of Queensland, CONROD, Brisbane, Australia
  • R. Supangan - University of Queensland, CONROD, Brisbane, Australia
  • M. Schuetz - Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Deutscher Kongress für Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie. 70. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Unfallchirurgie, 92. Tagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Orthopädie und Orthopädische Chirurgie und 47. Tagung des Berufsverbandes der Fachärzte für Orthopädie. Berlin, 02.-06.10.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocE.6.2-1290

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 28, 2006

© 2006 Connelly et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Purpose: Road traffic crashes (RTC) are known to impose a heavy social burden. The WHO (2004) estimates that, worldwide, approximately 1.2 million people are killed and more than 50 million people are injured each year in RTCs. RTCs still account for 25% of injury-related mortality in Australia and worldwide. Moreover, non-mortality costs associated with RTCs, in form of direct medical and other expenditures, the lost earnings and their carers are also substantial sources of social loss. The question of this study was to estimate the social costs of RTCs in Australia and a national comparison.

Methods: The analytical approach is based on the comprehensive work of the Australian BTE(2000) to compute the the "economic losses". The insurances companies estimates the "non-economic losses". In addition to these costs, the BTE produced a detailed property damage estimates and estimates of other important categories of costs (e.g. Emergency Services) that are associated with RTC. These costs were categorized in fatalities, serious injuries, minor injuries and property damage on RTCs for each australian state in 2003. In addition data of the annual Gross State Product (GSP) of each state was retrieved and the total costs of the RTC´s were expressed as a portion of it.

Results: The estimated costs for RTC´s are listed in the table [Tab. 1]. The average human costs were 55.97%, the vehicle costs 27.44% and additional costs 16.59% of the overall costs.

Conclusions: In some respect the scientific contribution of this paper is rather modest, we hope that this vein of reserach will assit policy-makers to identify effective strategies to prevent RTC, support the best treatment for the patient to reduce longterm costs of RTC.