Falls and transport accidents are the leading reasons for people being admitted to hospital in Australia, with the injuries they cause also the most likely to be life-threatening.
The figures released today show more than 400,000 people were admitted to hospital because of injury in 2008-2009, with men accounting for three-fifths of all injury admissions.
While transport injuries made up about 14 per cent of hospitalisations, accidental falls were by far the most common, affecting nearly 38 per cent of injured patients.
Co-author of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, James Harrison, said children and the elderly were most likely to suffer from falls, while transport injuries were seen across all ages and also affected more men in every age group.
"We are used to hearing about the road toll, which is tragic, causing more than 1000 deaths per year," Professor Harrison said.
"But in terms of people injured seriously enough to be hospitalised we're talking tens of thousands of people each year and many of those are left with persisting problems that are quite disabling, such as spinal chord and brain injury."
For children up to four, most injuries were caused by falls followed by heat injuries and poisoning.
One-fifth of injuries in young adults - those between 15-24 - were caused by transport accidents. Assault and self-harm injuries were similar for adolescents and the 25-44 age group, accounting for more than 20 per cent of injuries in both groups.
"The types of injuries we're seeing in adolescents coincides with that stage of life which is a transition in many ways; they are allowed to drink, hold a driver licence, they are going through social changes," Professor Harrison said.
"It is a complex period of life to adulthood and certainly in that period rates of certain injuries are higher."
Director of the Monash University Accident Research Centre, Mark Stevenson, said young men were often over-confident, sensation-seeking and risk-taking at a time in their lives when they were also getting their licences.
"This has been partly addressed in states like New South Wales and Victoria through the graduated licensing system, because, before that, we saw a massive spike in accidents as soon as people came off their learner's permit," Professor Stevenson said.
"What we also need in all states is restrictions on the amount of passengers that can be in young people's cars at night."
He also said young drivers needed to make sure the first car they bought was the safest option, not just the cheapest.
The report also showed more than one-quarter of injuries occurred in the home and rates of injury also increased as locations became more remote.