Notes on the data: Premature mortality by selected cause - 0 to 74 years

Deaths from road traffic injuries, persons aged 0 to 74 years, 2016 to 2020


Policy context:  Road trauma is a significant contributor to the high rates of death from injury [1]. During the 12 months ended February 2022, there were 1,137 road deaths, or 3.1 deaths per day on average; this is an increase of 2.3 per cent from the 12-month period ending February 2021 [2]. The number of deaths from road traffic crashes per 100,000 persons fell from 6.8 in 2009 to 6.1 in 2010 and to 4.98 in 2017 [3]. In 1970, the rate was 30.4 [1]. Although deaths on Australian roads have decreased over the past decade, there has been slow progress in reducing the number of injuries.

Australian road safety campaigns are working towards further reductions in deaths and in the severity of injuries. Improvements in vehicle design and in traffic flow and road construction also contribute to reducing the road toll.

For 2016 to 2020, 86.5% of deaths from road traffic injuries were premature – 88.6% for males and 80.0% for females: details here.

The indicator Potential Years of Life Lost (click here) adds a further dimension to the data on premature death, in particular from these causes, which include deaths of many young people.


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Year Book 2012. (ABS Cat. no. 1301.0). Canberra: ABS; 2012.
  2. Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. Available from; last accessed 28 March 2022
  3. Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), 2018, Road trauma. Australia 2017 statistical summary, BITRE, Canberra ACT.

Notes:  International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) codes:  V00-V06.[1], V09.2, V09.3, V10-V18.[4,5,9], V19.[4,5,6,9], V20-V28.[4,5,9], V29.[ 4,5,6,9], V30-V38. [5,6,7,9], V39.[4,5,6,9], V40-V48[5,6,7,9], V49[4,5,6,9], V50-V48.[5,6,7,9], V59.[4,5,6,9], V60-V68.[5,6,7,9], V69.[4,5,6,9], V70-V78.[5,6,7,9], V79.[4,5,6,9], V81.1, V82.1, V82.9, V83-V86.[0,1,2,3], V87, V89.2, V89.3

For deaths data released since 2007, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has applied a staged approach to the coding of cause of death which affects the number of records available for release at any date. In general, the latest year's data is preliminary, the second latest is revised and the data for the remaining years is final. For further information about the ABS revisions process see the following and related sites:

However, data published here are from the following releases: 2016 and 2017, final; 2018, revised; and 2019 and 2020, preliminary.


Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintile of socioeconomic disadvantage of area and Remoteness Area


Numerator:  Deaths from road traffic injuries at ages 0 to 74 years


Denominator:  Population aged 0 to 74 years


Detail of analysis:  Average annual indirectly age-standardised rate per 100,000 population (aged 0 to 74 years); and/or indirectly age-standardised ratio, based on the Australian standard.


Source:  Data compiled by PHIDU from deaths data based on the 2016 to 2020 Cause of Death Unit Record Files supplied by the Australian Coordinating Registry and the Victorian Department of Justice, on behalf of the Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages and the National Coronial Information System. The population is the ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP) for Australia, 30 June 2016 to 30 June 2020.


© PHIDU, Torrens University Australia This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia licence.