ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

A comparison of offroad and onroad crashes in rural and remote Queensland

Steinhardt, Dale, Sheehan, Mary, Siskind, Victor (Peer reviewed)

Crashes - Analysis


Offroad vehicle use and in particular offroad motorcycling has been established as a significant source of injury both within Australia and internationally. However, Queensland?s police road crash statistics typically do not report crashes that occur in off-road circumstances. The aim of the current investigation was to compare this under-reported subset of crashes with on-road crashes. The data used was sourced from interviews conducted in Northern Queensland with serious injury patients hospitalised for 24 hours or more after a rural road crash. Of the classifiable crashes, approximately half were motorcycle crashes, of which a half again were offroad crashes. Of the crashes involving cars, roughly 15% were offroad crashes. Results showed males constituted the majority of all motorcycle crashes, with younger males particularly involved in offroad motorcycle incidents. Offroad motorcycling was identified particularly with greater proportions of riding for pleasure, unlicensed riding, unregistered vehicle use and travelling on an unfamiliar track or road. In terms of illegal behaviours, just under 10% of all subgroups reported recreational drug use. Non-use of helmets and seatbelts was higher for offroad compared to onroad groups, though a notable proportion of onroad users also reported non-use. Offroad motorcyclists were more likely to be unlicensed to ride, riding unregistered vehicles and unfamiliar with the area or road. The results are discussed in relation to how this data can inform official crash data sources and the development of interventions to target specific high-risk sub-groups in rural and remote areas.