Consequences of road traffic accidents for different types of road user

Injury. 2003 Mar;34(3):197-202. doi: 10.1016/s0020-1383(02)00285-1.


The study aimed to describe the immediate and later physical, social and psychological consequences of a road traffic accident for vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians amongst consecutive hospital attenders at an Accident and Emergency Department. Physical and accident details were collated from hospital records. Subjects completed questionnaires at hospital attendance, 3 months, 1 and 3 years. There were 1148 respondents from 1441 consecutive attenders over a 1-year period. The main outcome measures were self-report physical status, standard measures of post-traumatic stress disorder, mood, travel anxiety and health status at 3 months, 1 and 3 years. There were marked differences in injury pattern and immediate reaction between road user groups. Pedestrians and motorcyclists suffer the most severe injuries and report more continuing medical problems and greater resource use, especially in the first 3 months. There were few differences in psychological or social outcomes at any stage of follow-up. Despite differences between the road user groups in their injuries, immediate reactions and treatment, there were few longer-term differences. A third of all groups described chronic adverse consequences which were principally psychological, social and legal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Accidents, Traffic / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Accidents, Traffic / psychology*
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Automobile Driving
  • Bicycling / injuries
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Liability, Legal
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Middle Aged
  • Motorcycles
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology*