Projecting the future burden of older road user crashes in Queensland
Keywords: Older Drivers/Users
Submission Date: 2007
The population of Queensland is growing rapidly, and ageing rapidly. As older road users (aged 60 or more) have a different pattern of crashes to other road users, it is expected that the nature of road crashes overall will change, along with the overall burden. This paper reports preliminary steps to project the future burden of older road user crashes in Queensland. Population projections show that the number of Queenslanders aged 60 and above will increase almost fivefold from 574,263 in 2001 to 2,743,304 in 2051. These increases will be greatest among people aged 80 or above. Projections of road crashes based on simple assumptions show that currently about 1 in 10 driver casualties and 1 in 5 driver fatalities are aged 60 or above, and these ratios are expected to double by 2051. Passengers show a similar pattern. At present, about 1 in 8 pedestrian casualties and 1 in 7 pedestrian fatalities is aged 60 or above, and by 2051 it is projected that 1 in 4 pedestrian casualties and 1 in 3 pedestrian fatalities will be aged 60 or more. There are limitations to these simple projections which imply that the raw crash figures are likely to be inflated. However, attempts to take historical trends into account indicate that a better understanding is needed of external influences on them. Other factors which may affect the projections include changes in travel patterns, levels of fragility and exposure patterns, which will be taken into account in future iterations. The implications are discussed.