Every Kiwi is responsible for road safety. We need to keep the roads safe. Be sober Be safe

An article published by Driscoll et al. compared the fatalities from work related motor vehicle traffic accident based on review of data from 1985 to 1998 in NZ and similar time frame in Australia and United States; they found that motor vehicle traffic accidents accounted for 16% of all NZ work related deaths (1).  The highest risk group were; male, older workers, and truck drivers (1).

Work Safe reported vehicle incidents to be the most common accident type in fatalities.  It also identified agriculture and transport to have the highest number of work related fatalities (as shown below (2)).

industries accident fatalities chart

The common risk factors identified on a literature review were (1-3):

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and other psychoactive substances
  • Non-use of motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints
  • The Safe System approach: accommodating human error
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Unsafe road infrastructure
  • Unsafe vehicles
  • Inadequate post-crash care
  • Inadequate law enforcement of traffic laws

A further more detailed analysis of transport related fatalities during 2019 and 2020 showed 0.3 to 1.3 deaths per month (2).


Work-related fatalities are deaths that occur as a result of injury from work. This data includes workers who die from injuries while working and members of the public who die as a result of someone else’s work activity. It excludes deaths from natural causes and self-harm. The data is unable to include deaths from occupational disease (see work-related health). This is a single work-related fatalities dataset, combining notifications to WorkSafe and data from other agencies. It provides a whole-of-system picture of New Zealand’s health and safety performance.

fatalities 2019-2020

Injuries resulting in more than a week away from work

The information in this report comes from our System for Work-related Injury Forecasting and Targeting (SWIFT). It includes ACC data on approved work-related injury claims that resulted in more than a week away from work (WAFW).

injuries resulting in more than a week away from work 2019 and 2020

Annual crash statistics

Te Marutau — Ngā tatauranga ā-tau Safety, annual statistics showed traffic crashes during 2019 resulted in 352 deaths. The cause of deaths was: 160 involved alcohol/drugs, 87 high speeding, 67 deaths involving trucks, 36 due to fatigue, and 17 due to diverted attention (3).


Headline statistics for calendar years 1990-2019

Annual crash statistics -  Headline statistics for calendar years 1990-2019


  1. Driscoll T, Marsh S, McNoe B, et al Comparison of fatalities from work related motor vehicle traffic incidents in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States Injury Prevention 2005;11:294-299.
  2. Work Safe data set summary. Taken from https://data.worksafe.govt.nz/graph/summary/fatalities
  3. Ministry of Transport. Annual statistics for road crashes and aviation and maritime death and serious injuries. Taken from https://www.transport.govt.nz/statistics-and-insights/safety-annual-statistics/
  4. 10 facts about road safety. WHO 2018 from https://www.who.int/news-room/facts-in-pictures/detail/road-safety
  5. S. Bureau of Labor statistics. Taken from https://www.automotive-fleet.com/287978/work-related-collisions-account-for-40-of-driving-accidents
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