Falls research

This research looked at hospital presentations and admissions from falls in the street, typically overlooked in the road safety debate.

The research, the first of its kind in Australia, was undertaken by the Monash University Accident Research Centre, commissioned by Victoria Walks and funded by VicHealth.

It found that trips and falls in the street send over 5,000 pedestrians to hospital each year – even more than collisions with cars. While collisions with vehicles result in about 1,600 pedestrian casualties in Victoria each year, pedestrian falls account for an average of 1,680 hospital admissions and 3,545 emergency department presentations.

No Australian research has taken a detailed looked at injuries caused by falls in the street before. One of the more surprising findings was that falls in the street affect all adult age groups. However, older people are more fragile so more likely to be seriously injured and they take longer to recover. The hospitalisation rate for those aged 85 or more was 14 times that of those aged 35-64.

Women are particularly affected by falls in the street environment. Females accounted for 55.5 percent of Emergency Department presentations and 58.9 percent of hospitalisations, compared to 44.5 and 41.1 percent respectively for men.

This research was first released in March as a basic text document. We've now had the report graphic designed, to better illustrate the issues. However there are no significant differences in text between this and the earlier version.

Access the report: