Counting Road Traffic Deaths and Injuries: Poor Data Should Not Detract from Doing Something!

In this editorial, the authors evaluate the present worldwide situation regarding data collection on road traffic deaths and injuries. The authors contend that data on road traffic deaths and injuries are important tools for road safety development. The authors note that the countries with the highest burden of disease also tend to have the poorest data. Data may simply not be collected at all; even where collected, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. Even the death rates that are reported may be influenced by different definitions of road traffic fatalities; some countries consider any person killed immediately or within 30 days of an automobile accident as a road fatality, other country's definitions include 24 hours after an accident (Greece, Portugal, Spain), 6 days (France), or 7 days (Italy). Nonfatal outcomes of road traffic crashes are even more problematic. The authors conclude, however, that lack of data should not be used as an excuse for inaction or ignoring a country's road traffic problems. Some country-level data are always available, even if rudimentary, and these can be used as a starting point to develop a road safety strategy and to implement some interventions known to save lives. The authors call for a two-fold approach to the problem: working to implement known methods of road safety at the same time as working to improve the databases of statistics on road injuries and deaths.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 158-160
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01010595
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 27 2005 6:32AM