More than half of the Bay's most serious crashes occurred between midday and midnight with numbers also peaking between 12pm and 6pm, a newly released report has revealed.

The Bay of Plenty District Health Board Trauma Service report showed out of the 165 serious crashes in the region last year, 108 occurred between between 12pm and 12am, with 45 between the hours of 6pm and midnight.

The period between midnight and 6am remains the lowest crash incidence time (22).

Driver error was blamed for the majority of the crashes, with excessive speed, alcohol, falling asleep and crossing the centre line the most common causes.


Nine crashes were also attributed to medical conditions in the report which looked into the region's serious crashes of 2013.

Serious crashes were defined as those that resulted in a hospital stay of greater than 24 hours for the injured, said report author and trauma nurse specialist Katrina O'Leary. "Although deaths from road crashes are trending down internationally, they remain a major health and community burden, with most occurring from preventable causes," she said.

The report also revealed that serious crashes occurred mostly on rural roads, with 77 of the 165 accidents taking place there. Tauranga was the next most common centre, with 33 crashes, and the most common accident time was between 12 midday and 6pm. There were 37 motorbike crashes within the Bay of Plenty last year and 18 people struck by vehicles.

Seven of these pedestrians were intoxicated at the time.

The information for the review was taken from St John Ambulance records, the Midland DHB's Regional Trauma System data sheets, ACC forms, hospital web based patient administration systems, and from patients themselves.