The Relationship between Socio-economic Factors and Road Safety in Western Australia

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned ReportResearch


The major objective of this project was to identify key measures of economic activity and establish the relationship between these factors and road trauma in Western Australia using advanced statistical time series techniques. Explanatory structural time series modelling of the relationship between selected socio-economic factors and the level of road trauma in Western Australia has identified unemployment rate as having a significant association with each of the overall levels of road trauma investigated, namely fatal crashes; fatal plus hospitalisation crashes; fatal crashes during high alcohol hours; and fatal plus hospitalisation crashes during high alcohol hours. Over the analysis period of March 1995 to December 2009 inclusive, reductions in the unemployment rate in Western Australia relative to March 1995 levels have been associated with an additional 311 fatal crashes (average 21 per year); 1,793 fatal plus hospitalised crashes (average 120 per year); 158 fatal crashes during high alcohol hours (average 11 per year); and 1,098 fatal plus hospitalised crashes during high alcohol hours (average 73 per year).

Unemployment rate offers a measure of economic activity useful for the road safety context. Road safety target setting in strategies must be mindful that changes in economic circumstances can affect the likelihood of reaching set targets. In addition, evaluation of road safety countermeasures or strategy performance must include methodology that explicitly measures or controls for the effects of economic factors on road trauma outcomes. This is necessary in order to measure the specific effects of road safety programs on road trauma outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCurtin-Monash Accident Research Centre
Commissioning bodyRoad Safety Commission (Western Australia)
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Road Trauma
  • Statistical Modelling
  • Economic Factors
  • Unemployment

Cite this