Work-related road fatalities in Australia

Rebecca Mitchell*, Timothy Driscoll, Sandra Healey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to provide a detailed description of all work-related road deaths in Australia during 1989-1992, compare the results to a prior investigation of work-related road fatalities, and consider the use of data from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) as a possible source of information on work-related road deaths. Results show that there were on average 136 workers, 151 commuters, and 133 road bystanders who were fatally injured in vehicle incidents on a public roadway each year during the study timeframe, giving a rate of 1.7 per 100,000 workers per year for workers, a rate of 2.0 per 100,000 commuters per year, and a rate of 0.78 per 100,000 persons per year for road bystanders. Workers employed in the transport and storage industry had the highest rate of work-related road deaths (15.5 per 100,000 workers per year) in 1989-1992, although this was a decrease from 21.5 per 100,000 workers in 1982-1984. The type of vehicle crash differed by vehicle type and location. High speed, possible fatigue, and wet weather, and/or alcohol and drugs appeared to be factors in many of the incidents, especially those involving prime movers and rigid trucks. Work-related road deaths can be identified in the ATSB data, as long as underenumeration of certain types of vehicle incidents (i.e. those involving cars and vans, wagons, utilities, and four-wheel drives) are taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-860
Number of pages10
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


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