Analysis of injuries to young and old Victorian public transport users: 2006 to 2010
An injury analysis was undertaken of young and older transport users from 5 years of injury surveillance data collected at participating trauma hospitals in Victoria, Australia. The analysis was undertaken for inclusion in the UK project on Improving the Safety for Older Public Transport Users. Details of injuries were recorded on attendance including the patients’ account of the circumstances of the accident and causation factors. Results showed that injury risk was more common among bus passengers than those on either trams or trains. The most common injuries were to the head and face regions and upper and lower limbs. Chest injuries were especially problematic among older travellers and they sustained more multiple life-threating injuries than their younger counterparts. Entering or exiting the vehicle accounted for almost two-thirds of all injury-causing events. The most common mechanisms involved a slip, trip or fall while getting on and off the vehicle or while on-board or running to catch public transport. Being hit, struck or crushed by another person or an object was also noted. Injuries to older public transport users was positively correlated with increasing age. The majority of those injured required out-patient treatment at the participating hospital but was dependent on the participant’s age. Opportunities for intervention included improved boarding and exiting facilities at bus and tram stops and reducing hazardous structural members inside these vehicles would be helpful. A number of limitations in this study were noted and areas requiring further research were identified for future studies. The need for more definitive indepth studies of public transport injurious incidents was especially noteworthy.