Middle-aged men getting hurt more in road accidents

MORE than a quarter of all road accidents in Australia resulted in life-threatening injuries between 2001 and 2010, says a report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released Thursday.

It also showed the number of people seriously injured in road crashes over that period rose from 141 per 100,000 to 146 per 100,000 people.

While the rate of life-threatening cases involving passengers in cars fell about 1% a year, the rates for motorcycle and bicycle injuries rose 5.2% and 7.5% each year respectively.

The highest rates of life-threatening injuries from road crashes were found in people aged 15-24 years old, and the largest growth in such injuries was among men aged 45-64 years old.

"Injuries per registered motorcycle did not change much from 2001 to 2010, suggesting that the rise in population-based rates is largely due to growth in the number of motorcycles in use," the report said.

Bicycle injuries rose 14-15% among men and women aged 45-64 years old.