Childhood pedestrian injuries in the Perth metropolitan area

Med J Aust. 1992 Feb 17;156(4):234-8. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.1992.tb139739.x.


Objective: To examine the characteristics of childhood pedestrian injuries in the Perth metropolitan area from 1980 to 1989.

Design: Retrospective descriptive study.

Setting: Perth metropolitan area, Western Australia.

Participants: Child pedestrians aged 0 to 14 years who were injured during the period 1 January 1980 to 31 December 1989.

Main outcome measures: An extensive database which reported fatal and non-fatal motor vehicle collisions was used to obtain details on the child pedestrian, the vehicle involved in the collision, and the environmental factors related to these injuries.

Results: A total of 1282 child pedestrian injuries were reported in the 10 year period. Children aged between 5 and 9 years, and were overrepresented among those injured. This study also demonstrated a similar proportion of injuries involving the 10-14 year age group. Injuries frequently occurred mid block, on local urban roads, between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and a greater than expected proportion of drivers involved in these collisions were in the under-21 age category. To describe the pattern of childhood pedestrian injuries we calculated both age-specific injury rates, and injury rates based on the number of registered motor vehicles. The latter revealed a greater than 20-fold variation between local government areas.

Conclusions: Further analytical research, incorporating a measure of the child pedestrian's exposure to roads and traffic is required to identify those features in the individual and the environment which have a significant influence on the likelihood of a collision. Such research is required to institute effective preventive measures.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents / statistics & numerical data*
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Urban Health
  • Western Australia / epidemiology