The validity of police-reported information on the injury severity of non-fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes in New Zealand
Objective To assess the validity of police-reported information on the severity of injury for non-fatal Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes (MVTCs ). Methods Details of MVTCs reported to the police and resulting in non-fatal injury in New Zealand (NZ) from January 2000 to December 2004 were obtained from Land Transport New Zealand (L TNZ). Data about individual's injuries was matched to New Zealand Health Information Service (NZHIS) hospital discharge data. ICD-1 0 codes from the hospital data were recorded and a severity score assigned, using a Threat to Life tool, the International Classification of Diseasesbased Injury Severity Score (ICISS). Results 14,869 (51%) records were linked and used in the analysis. Of those crash victims who were recorded by police as having 'serious' injuries on the Traffic Crash Report (TCR), only 48% had an injury with a significant threat to life. Of those who were recorded as suffering a 'minor' injury on the TCR, 15% had an injury with a significant threat to life. There was variation in the concordance between the injury severity assessment on the TCR and injury severity as measured by ICISS by personal, vehicle and crash variables. Conclusion There was marked discordance between the two measures of injury severity. This has implications for interpreting NZ's road safety statistics, the assessment of road safety programmes and the allocation of funding to target specific road safety problems. These results also raise questions about whether the police assessment of injury severity should be used at all in the surveillance of non-fatal motor vehicle traffic crash-related injury.
Advisor: Langley, John; Davie, Gabrielle
Degree Name: Master of Public Health
Degree Discipline: Public Health
Research Type: Thesis