A geographic information system to study trauma epidemiology in India

J Trauma Manag Outcomes. 2007 Nov 26;1(1):3. doi: 10.1186/1752-2897-1-3.


Background: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) describe the topography and chronology of events in a defined vector space. GIS may also be used for an integrated analysis of environmental and road-related risk factors for traffic accidents.

Methods: In a retrospective study, various features of 165 road crashes were linked to a GIS-generated digital map of an area close to a national highway in India. By overlay tools, clusters of accidents were identified, and color-coded according to accident mechanisms and injury patterns.

Results: Spatial analysis revealed a cluster with a high incidence of motorbike injuries resulting in fractures. Examination of the spot demonstrated the risky combination of a speed breaker and a broken traffic light. After fixing the light, no further accidents occurred at the site.

Conclusion: GIS is a promising technology for geo-referencing accident data, and may be a valuable tool to identify areas of priority for injury prevention in India.