Epidemiologic study of road traffic injuries by road user type characteristics and road environment in Iran: a community-based approach

Traffic Inj Prev. 2012;13(1):61-4. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2011.623201.


Objective: Crash injuries in traffic accidents are affected by a variety of factors. In this study we analyzed road user type information based on different contributing factors.

Method: Data from all of the road traffic victims on a road extending from the east of the city of Tehran to Mazandaran province were included prospectively over a one-year period (May 2008 to May 2009). Data collected included the crash time, patient's age and sex, road user category, helmet or seat belt use, anatomical site of injury, Injury Severity Score (ISS), and mortality. Prevalence and cross-tabulations were included in the analysis.

Results: There were 433 patients, of whom 345 were hospitalized and 33 died either before or after arriving at the hospital. Sixty-nine percent of injured patients were vehicle occupants. Mean and median of ISS were higher for pedestrians, who accounted for 49 percent of the deaths. Head injury was the most common injury and injury to upper and lower extremities was the most common cause of admission. A significant difference in lower extremity injuries between vehicle occupants and nonoccupants was found. Sex and age group did not have a significant effect on mortality. Mortality was significantly higher in pedestrians (P < .001) when data were analyzed based on road user type.

Conclusion: Because pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users, stricter legislation and law enforcement should be used to protect them. Greater protection can also be reached by holding effective public awareness campaigns on how to use different roads safely. On the other hand, because rear seat passengers are at the same risk for road traffic injuries as front seat passengers, employment of newer laws and preventive measures targeting this group of occupants can prevent many road traffic injuries (RTIs).

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Environment Design / statistics & numerical data*
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motorcycles
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Young Adult