The epidemiology of motor vehicle collisions involving pedestrians in eThekwini Municipality, 2001-2006.
Hobday, Michelle Bridget.
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Introduction Road traffic collisions in developing countries contribute towards the greatest burden of disabilities and fatalities globally. Concern has arisen about the high proportion of pedestrians involved in collisions in South Africa. Aim This study describes the epidemiology of motor vehicle collisions involving pedestrians in eThekwini Municipality from 2001 to 2006, aiming to identify opportunities for prevention and informing policy. Methods An analytic cross-sectional study design was used. Data was obtained from the eThekwini Transport Authority database (police accident reports), and the Nationallnjury Mortality Surveillance System (mortuary reports). Exposure variables included pedestrian and drivers' demographics and collision environment. Death and injury were the outcome variables measured. Population data was obtained from Statistics South Africa. Results Pedestrians' injuries decreased from 7 445 to 6 288 (incidence risk: 241 to 193 per 100 000) from 200 I to 2006. Annual case fatality rose from 4.9% (366 deaths in 200 I) to 6.8% (430 deaths in 2006). Child pedestrians aged 5 to 9 years had a 77% increased risk of injury relative to other children. The fatality risk ratio of male to female pedestrians was 3.8 (95% Confidence Interval: 1.7 to 9.3). Male drivers aged 30 to 34 years had a 68% increased collision risk relative to all other male drivers and eight times (Incidence risk ratio: 8.0; 95% Confidence Interval: 6.2 to 10.3) the risk of female drivers. Only 3.4% of collisions occurred on freeways but accounted for 19.6% of pedestrian fatalities. Few (1.5%) collisions involving pedestrians occurred at night in unlit conditions but constituted more than four times the number of fatalities as number of collisions in these conditions.