Road Traffic Accidents in Ethiopia: Magnitude, Causes and Possible Interventions

Most road traffic accidents occur in low-and middle-income countries such as Ethiopia, despite being a major public health problem worldwide. In Ethiopia, commercial vehicle passengers and pedestrians are most vulnerable, while in high-income countries, privately owned vehicles are primarily involved in crashes, with injury or death sustained mainly by the driver. In Ethiopia, for example, five percent of fatalities involve automobile drivers, while in the United States, 60 percent do. These statistics carry the implication that the number of people injured or killed in one Ethiopian crash is about 30 times higher than crashes in the United States. Identification of the problem's main causes is a study objective, as is giving finding-based recommendations. The magntiude, causes, and possible interventions in Ethiopian road traffic accidents are focused on. Classification of key road traffic accident determinants in Ethiopia, as well as analysis, were performed using the Haddon Matrix, which explains injuries in terms of a time sequence (pre-crash, crash, post-crash) and in terms of factors (host agent - environment). Key problem determinants were identified as absence of traffic accident compulsory insurance law, poor emergency medical services, poor vehicle condition, poor legislation and enforcement failure, mixed traffic flow systems, absence of road traffic safety knowledge, and poor road network. While there currently are road safety draft strategies, there is no national road traffic accident policy. In Ethiopia, road traffic accidents pose a huge development and health problem. To curb the growing problem, high level political commitment and immediate actions and decisions are required in the current situation, or else rapidly increasing motorization and population levels will worsen it day-to-day. The author recommends the "hands on" experiences of Ghana and Colombia, implementation of which are feasible in Ethiopia.


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  • Accession Number: 01111083
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 17 2008 7:13PM