Burden of Road Traffic Injuries Related to Delays in Implementing Safety Belt Laws in Low- and Lower-Middle-Income Countries

Delayed implementation of effective road safety policies must be considered when quantifying the avoidable part of the fatal and nonfatal injuries burden. The authors sought to assess the avoidable part of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost due to road traffic injuries related to delays in implementing road safety laws in low- and lower-middle-income countries. The authors chose one country for each of the regions of the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank (WB) country income levels. The authors used freely available data sets (WHO, International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group, the WB). Delays in implementation were calculated until 2013, from the year mandatory use of safety belts by motor vehicle front seat occupants was first introduced worldwide. The authors used life expectancy tables and age groups as social values in the DALY calculation model. From the estimated total burden, avoidable DALYs were calculated using estimates of the effectiveness of seat belt laws on fatal and nonfatal injuries combined, as extracted from published international reviews of evidence. From the reference year 1972, implementation delays varied from 27 years (Uzbekistan) to 41 years in Bolivia (no seat belt law as of 2013). During delays, total absolute numbers of DALYs lost due to road traffic injuries reached 8,462,099 in Nigeria, 7,203,570 in Morocco, 4,695,500 in Uzbekistan, 3,866,391 in Cambodia, 3,253,359 in Bolivia, and 3,128,721 in Sri Lanka. Using effectiveness estimates ranging from 3 to 20% reduction, the avoidable burden of road traffic injuries for car occupants was highest in Uzbekistan (avoidable part from 1.2 to 10.4%) and in Morocco (avoidable part from 1.5 to 12.3%). In countries where users of public transport and pedestrians were the most affected by the burden, the avoidable parts ranged from 0.5 to 4.4% (Nigeria) and from 0.5 to 3.4% (Bolivia). Burden of road traffic injuries mostly affected motorcyclists in Sri Lanka and Cambodia where the avoidable parts were less than 2% in both countries. In all selected countries, burden of traffic injuries mostly affected men (about 80%) as well as young people (15–34 years). Despite limited data availability in low- and middle-income countries, the avoidable part of the burden related to delayed intervention is measurable. These results can be used to convince countries to avoid delaying the provision of better protection to road users.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01667653
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 28 2018 3:00PM