Objective: This study aimed to describe road user behaviour, attitudes and crashes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in four urban, regional and remote communities located in New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia (SA).
Methods: Face-to-face surveys were administered to clients (n=625) in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS). All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients attending the ACCHS for any reason were approached to participate over a 2-week period. Surveys included questions on sociodemographic factors, crash involvement, road behaviours and road safety attitudes drawn from tools used in national surveys.
Results: The participation rate was high (69%-75%). Seat belt wearing rates were very high, particularly in the front of a car, although rear seat belt wearing rates in SA (77%) were substantially lower than in NSW (93%). Among drivers, 11% reported always or mostly driving 10 km/hour over the speed limit, and this was higher among drivers in SA (13.4%). Drivers aged 55 years and over and/or women were more likely to report that they do not drink at any time or restricted what they drank when driving. These results enable comparison with the Community Attitude to Road Safety survey conducted Australia-wide in 2013.
Conclusions: This study confirms that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are inclined to report attitudes or road safety behaviours similar to the rest of the population; however, rear restraint use was lower and self-reported speeding was higher. These issues are likely attributable to transport options and geography in remote communities, which can contribute to overcrowding and unsafe driving practices.