Police motorcycle crash casualty reports and their linkage with hospital trauma admissions in the Midland Region of New Zealand, 2012-2016
Road crash reports collected by NZ Police have often been used as a basis for guiding various road safety and crash prevention campaigns. A novel collaborative study published in the Journal of Road Safety (May 2020) involving the Midland Trauma System and NZTA suggests that in the case of on-road motorcycle crashes, police reports may be significantly underestimating the scale of motorcycle casualties on New Zealand roads. In the collaborative study, data collected in the Midland Trauma System Registry was compared with police motorcycle casualty reports.
The study found that across the Midland Region during 2012-2016, 46% of on-road motorcycle crash trauma patients admitted to hospital were unknown among police records. Younger motorcycle crash casualties under age 45 years in particular were significantly more likely to be admitted to hospital without being recorded by police. The study provides a clearer picture of the true extend of motorcycle injuries and where biases may exist in reporting to police. It is hoped that this greater understanding may help inform policymakers when planning preventive strategies designed to reduce the burden of motorcycle crashes in New Zealand.
The Journal of Road Safety: Volume 31 Issue 2