Male pedestrians account for 70 percent of cost to the community from deaths and injuries on the road

Men and boys account for 70 percent of the $111 million cost to the community from deaths and injuries among New South Wales pedestrians, new Australian research has shown.

Males are involved in 60 percent of all road accidents involving pedestrians yet they account for an even greater part of the injury bill, according to UNSW behavioural psychologist Dr Julie Hatfield, who conducted the study.

The findings come from an analysis of pedestrian injury and death for financial year 1999/2000, the latest available. The costs include premature death, disability, diminished quality of life, medical treatment and lost earnings.

"Male casualties are more common because they take more risks," Dr Hatfield, a senior research fellow at the UNSW Injury Risk Management Research Centre, said. "Unfortunately, risk-taking is a part of male culture, especially among young men."

Male pedestrian casualty costs were 20 percent higher than average partly because their injuries were more severe, she said. The costs associated with of each male NSW pedestrian killed or injured was $38,130, compared to an average figure of $31,567.

In the study year, the bill for injury and premature death among young males aged 15 to 24 years was $18.6 million, the vast majority of which was for costs linked to ongoing disability and premature death. The average cost of each young male pedestrian casualty (killed or injured) was $46,161.

A total of 121 pedestrians died, 3,396 were injured and 1,502 were hospitalised due to road traffic accidents during the study year. Direct medical costs for treating pedestrians were $13.6 million (12 percent of total), while $97.3 million (88 percent) was due to premature death and ongoing disability.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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