Comparison of victorian road trauma trends using traditional and alternative measures of serious injury derived from linked data
Systematic problems have been identified in Victoria’s road safety data system collection, collation and management which have led to problems in the measurement of serious injury. In particular, measurement of the severity of injury sustained in road crashes for the purpose of monitoring the road toll and trends in road trauma relies largely on the classification of injury outcome by police when reporting a crash. As a consequence trends in serious injury, a key outcome measure of performance in the Victorian road safety strategy, may not reflect actual serious injury trends or the effectiveness of the strategy. Previous research has described a range of alternative measures of serious injury that could potentially be calculated consistently over time from Victorian road safety data sources. These include those related to resource use, threat to life and the non-fatal burden of injury. This paper outlines data requirements required to calculate alternative measures of serious injury that could potentially be adopted in the road safety domain and describes the creation of a linked dataset of police reported crash records and Transport Accident Commission (TAC) claims data containing high level injury outcome information able to be used to derive various measures of serious injury. It then presents a comparison of serious injury trends using traditional police reported measures and alternative measures derived from the linked dataset. Such comprehensive information will facilitate a sound evidence base on factors determining serious injury outcomes, allowing good evidence-based policy and practise to be developed to effectively address the problem.