Journeys by train safer than travel by car

August 18th, 2008 - 4:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Aug 18 (IANS) People who travel by car face a 10-fold greater risk of serious injury than those who travel by train in terms of the distance covered, according to a new report. The report, released by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) said that between 2001-02 to 2005-06, just one rail user was seriously injured per 100 million passenger km travelled in 2005-06. Ten car occupants were seriously injured in road crashes per 100 million vehicle km travelled the same year.

Jesia Berry of the Institute’s National Injury Surveillance Unit said “there was an average of 190 persons seriously injured and 1,600 bed days per year due to transport accidents involving a train”.

Many more car occupants were seriously injured in crashes on public roads. About 16,000 car occupants were seriously injured per year, contributing 80,000 bed days.

Serious injury rates were highest among young people aged between 15 and 19 years and people 70 years and older, and males accounted for 57 per cent of the hospitalisations.

Rail users made up two-thirds of the hospitalisations due to transport accidents involving a train. Rail users were most commonly injured while boarding or alighting and by falling inside the train or falling from the train.

Pedestrians injured in a collision with a train accounted for 16 per cent of hospitalisations. Car occupants accounted for 12 per cent of those injured in a collision with a train and a further five percent were occupants or riders of other motor vehicles, including trucks, pick-up trucks or vans, buses and motorcycles.

For about one-quarter of those seriously injured in an accident involving a train, the accident occurred at a level crossing. There were on average 50 people seriously injured per year in level crossing accidents.

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