Road crash analysis
We collate and provide road crash statistics using data from NSW Health, the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), icare (Insurance & Care NSW) and the NSW Police Force. Each day, we process and review road crash data to gain information on deaths and serious injuries for every crash. We monitor and report fatal crashes in the:
- NSW Road Toll - Daily (PDF, 490.62 KB)
- NSW Road Toll-Monthly (PDF, 1001.1 KB)
- NSW Heavy Truck Fatal Crashes (PDF, 397.71 KB)
Our crash database, CrashLink, is used for road safety analysis and research work, strategic planning and policy development. Our road crash data is used by the public and organisations such as the Federal Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, NSW Police Force, NRMA Motoring & Services, Australian Bureau of Statistics, local governments, road safety researchers and community groups.
The NSW Road Toll Progress Report (PDF, 789.1 KB) shows preliminary provisional data as at 1 January 2023.
The NSW Road Traffic Casualty Crashes 2021 (PDF, 3.62 MB) provides a comprehensive statistical statement for the year ended 31 December 2021.
How to use this information
Our statistics are confined to crashes that meet the national guidelines for reporting and classifying road vehicle crashes. The guidelines include crashes that meet all of these criteria:
- Were reported to the police
- Occurred on a road open to the public
- Involved at least one moving road vehicle
- Involved at least one person being killed or injured or at least one motor vehicle being towed away
Reports for some crashes aren't received until well into the following year and after the annual crash database has been finalised. These amount to fewer than 1% of recorded crashes and are counted in the following year's statistics.
Before 2000, under Section 8 (3) of the Traffic Act 1909, road crashes in NSW had to be reported to the police when any person was killed or injured, or there was property damage of more than $500.
On 1 December 1999, the Traffic Act was repealed and replaced by new traffic legislation including the adoption of the Australian Road Rules. The new traffic legislation is found in the Road Transport (General) Act 1999 and the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999, and the regulations made under those Acts.
Under Rule 287 (3) of the Road Rules, a crash must be reported to police when any person is killed or injured, when drivers involved in the crash don't exchange particulars, or when a vehicle involved in the crash is towed away.
Definitions and notes
An algorithm derived by the NSW Ministry of Health is used to report on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status.
Alcohol involved in crash
Determined by whether any of the vehicle drivers or riders in the crash had an illegal level of alcohol.
A person sitting on or riding a horse or other animal.
Any articulated tanker, semi-trailer, low loader, road train or B-double.
See Pedal cycle rider.
Includes State Transit Authority bus and long distance/tourist coach.
Includes sedan, station wagon, utility (based on car design), panel van (based on car design), coupe, hatchback, sports car, passenger van and 4-wheel-drive passenger vehicle.
That part of the road improved or designed to be ordinarily used by moving vehicles. When a road has two or more of these parts, divided by a median strip or other physical separation, each of these is a separate carriageway.
Any person killed or injured because of a crash.
A person occupying the controlling position of a road vehicle.
All local government areas except Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Wollongong and Shellharbour, and those in metropolitan Sydney.
Any unplanned event involving a road vehicle on a road that results in death, injury or towed vehicle and is reported to the police.
The type of crash grouped according to the road user movement code recorded (see Road user movement code).
A controller of a motor vehicle other than a motorcycle.
Includes ambulance, fire brigade vehicle, police patrol car (or van) and tow truck.
A crash in which there is at least one fatality.
A person who dies within 30 days form injuries received in a road traffic crash.
That part of the road which is ordinarily reserved for pedestrian movement as a matter of right or custom.
Any heavy rigid truck or articulated truck.
Heavy rigid truck
Any rigid lorry or rigid tanker with a tare weight of more than 4.5 tonnes.
High Threat to Life Indicator (HTTL)
An alternative dimension of severity based on a person’s probability of survival. This metric is based on a person’s worst injury where the lowest SRR (Survival Risk Ratio) of all diagnosis codes for the first admission is used to calculate ICISS (ICD-based Injury Severity Score). ICISS values are banded into 2 categories and have the following survival probabilities:
Yes – at most 94.1%
No – at least 94.1%
Injury severity category
A dimension of severity based on a person’s probability of survival. This metric is based on a person’s worst injury where the lowest SRR (Survival Risk Ratio) of all diagnosis codes for the first admission is used to calculate ICISS (ICD-based Injury Severity Score). ICISS values are banded into 4 categories and have the following survival probabilities:
Maximum severity – at most 85.4%
High severity – between 85.4% and 96.5%
Moderate severity – between 96.5% and 99.2%
Minimum severity – at least 99.2%
A crash where the first impact occurs at or within 10 metres of an intersection.
The local government area where the crash occurred.
Includes panel van (not based on car design), utility (not based on car design) and mobile vending vehicle.
Location of injury
Location of injury is also derived from the Principal Diagnostic Code of the first linked Admitted Patient Data Collection (APDC) record of the patient. It provides a description of the region of the body the principal injury occurred.
All local government areas in metropolitan Sydney, as well as Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Wollongong and Shellharbour.
A person identified as an injury in CrashLink who isn't matched to a hospital admission record or emergency department attendance record, or a previously defined No Injury CrashLink record matched to a SIRA CTP record with an MAIS score of 1 (Minor).
A person identified in CrashLink (casualty or driver or rider) who's matched to an emergency department attendance record on the same day or day after a crash but wasn't killed or not subsequently admitted to hospital, or a previously defined Minor/Other or No Injury CrashLink record matched to a SIRA CTP record with a MAIS score of 2 (Moderate) or higher.
Any road vehicle that's mechanically or electrically powered but not operated on rails.
Any mechanically or electronically propelled 2 or 3-wheeled machine with or without sidecar. Includes solo motorcycle, motorcycle with sidecar, motor scooter, mini-bike, 3-wheeled special mobility vehicle and moped (motorised ‘pedal cycle’).
A person on but not controlling a motorcycle.
A person occupying the controlling position of a motorcycle.
Includes motorcycle riders and motorcycle passengers.
Natural lighting conditions
The natural lighting at the time of the crash.
Nature of injury
Nature of Injury is derived from the Principal Diagnostic Code of the first linked Admitted Patient Data Collection (APDC) record of the patient. It describes the kind of injury sustained by the person.
Newcastle metropolitan area
The local government areas of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie cities.
A crash in which at least one vehicle is towed away where there's no death and no person injured.
Any person, other than the controller, who's in, on, boarding, entering, alighting or falling from a road vehicle at the time of the crash, provided a portion of the person is in or on the road vehicle.
Any 2 or 3-wheeled device operated solely by pedals and propelled by human power except toy vehicles or other pedestrian conveyances. Includes bicycles with side-car, trailer or training wheels attached.
Pedal cycle passenger
A person on but not controlling a pedal cycle.
Pedal cycle rider
A person occupying the controlling position of a pedal cycle.
Includes pedal cycle riders and pedal cycle passengers.
Any person who's not in, on, boarding, entering, alighting or falling from a road vehicle at the time of the crash.
Any device, ordinarily operated on the footpath, by which a pedestrian may move, or by which a pedestrian may move another pedestrian or goods. Includes non-motorised scooter, pedal car, skateboard, roller skates, in-line skates, toy tricycle, unicycle, push cart, sled, trolley, non-motorised go-cart, billycart, pram, wheelbarrow, handbarrow, non-motorised wheelchair or any other toy device used as a means of mobility.
The year in which the crash was recorded for reporting purposes.
A proxy for Road and Maritime Services (RMS) Region derived from the location of the hospital where the person was first admitted.
The area devoted to public travel within a surveyed road reserve. Includes a footpath and cycle path inside the road reserve and a median strip or traffic island.
Any device (except pedestrian conveyance) upon which or by which any person or property may be transported or drawn on a road.
Road surface condition
The condition of the road surface at the crash location (e.g. wet, dry).
The class of road user (e.g. driver, pedestrian).
Road user movement code
The road user movement or RUM code describing the first impact for the crash. Find out more about RUM codes in Appendix A of Definitions and notes to support road crash data.
Serious injury status
Total serious injuries comprise 2 categories: those persons that are matched to a police report and those persons that are not matched to a police report.
Seriously injured (matched)
A person identified in the police crash report data (casualty or traffic unit controller) matched to a hospital stay that isn't an ED-only admission (unless that ended in a transfer interstate, to private hospital or other medical facility) containing an injury diagnosis on the same day or the day after a crash and did not die within 30 days of the crash or linked to a Lifetime Care participant record.
Seriously injured (unmatched)
A person not matched to a police report but has been identified as having an injury on a public road or injury on a traffic-public road for the hospital stay that is not an ED-only admission (unless that ended in a transfer interstate, to private hospital or other medical facility).
Sydney metropolitan area
The local government areas of Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Camden, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Inner West, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Liverpool, Mosman, North Sydney, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Randwick, Ryde, Strathfield, Sutherland, Sydney, The Hills, Waverley, Willoughby and Woollahra.
The weather conditions at the time of the crash.
Wollongong metropolitan area
The local government areas of Wollongong and Shellharbour cities.
Speeding and fatigue involvement
It's not always clear from police reports if speeding (excessive speed for the prevailing conditions) was a contributing factor in a road crash. We consider speeding to have been a contributing factor if at least one motor vehicle in a crash was speeding. We say a motor vehicle was speeding if it meets any of these conditions:
- Police said the vehicle was travelling at excessive speed
- The speed of the vehicle was faster than that allowed for the licence class of the driver or rider, or the vehicle weight (introduced 1 January 2010)
- The speed of the vehicle was higher than the speed limit
- While on a curve the vehicle jack-knifed, skidded, slid or the controller lost control
- The vehicle ran off the road on a bend or turning a corner and the driver or rider wasn't distracted by something, or affected by drowsiness or sudden illness, and wasn't swerving to avoid another vehicle, animal or object, and the vehicle didn't have equipment failure.
It's not always clear from police reports if fatigue is a contributing factor in a road crash. We consider fatigue to have been a contributing factor if at least one motor vehicle controller in a road crash was fatigued. We say a motor vehicle controller was fatigued if they meet any of these conditions:
- Police said the motor vehicle driver or rider was asleep, drowsy or tired
- The vehicle travelled onto the incorrect side of a straight road and had a head-on collision (and wasn't overtaking another vehicle and no other relevant factor was found)
- The vehicle ran off a straight road or off the road to the outside of a curve and the vehicle wasn't travelling at excessive speed and there was no other relevant factor found for the crash.
For more information
Our research and action plans underpin effective road safety initiatives to help reduce deaths and serious injuries on NSW roads.