Objectives: Italy is one of the industrialized countries with the highest mortality from road accidents. The mortality index of road accidents in Piemonte is one of the highest in Italy. This study assesses the main factors affecting the mortality among drivers.
Design: Police reports of 95,944 road traffic accidents occurred between 1999 and 2004 in Piemonte, involving 178,230 drivers, were analysed. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to estimate the association of drivers' and accidents' characteristics with mortality among drivers. Analyses were stratified for car, truck and two-wheel vehicle drivers.
Results: Mortality is affected by age and gender. In addition, the main risk factors are night-time, extra-urban roads, mountain areas and two wheel vehicles. The drivers license penalty point regulation law introduced in Italy on July 2003 seems to have had a protective effect on mortality during the early months of application.
Conclusions: Official data are useful for estimating potential determinants of road injuries' outcome. Factors affecting the occurrence of accidents are not necessarily predictors of outcome severity. An effective prevention policy of frequency of accidents, mortality and disability should be based on drivers'safety education, structural interventions, targeted road controls and law enforcement.