This paper aimed to underline the main consequences of traffic accidents in Romania 2009 and their associated causes or circumstances. We identified some problematic geographic areas, some critical months or moments of the day and also the most frequent causes; all these should become targets for the future planning. The current analysis provides some priority criteria for public health interventions. So, the future national road safety strategy should be in line with the EU objectives, but also with the national priorities.
Background: Romania is far away from the average EU target for 2010 of halving the death by traffic accidents registered in 2001.
Aim: To describe the circumstances and the consequences related to traffic accidents registered in Romania, for the year 2009.
Methods: An ecological study was conducted. The traffic accidents circumstances were analyzed in terms of magnitude, geographic space, time and cause. The consequences were analyzed as affected people and damaged cars.
Results: A total of 28,627 traffic accidents were registered in Romania during the year 2009. 2,796 people were killed and 27,968 were hospitalized and 42,443 cars were damaged. 3 of 4 accidents were caused by violations on behalf of the car drivers. Most common violations in car drivers were excess of speed and priority violations (52.4%). Among the pedestrians, 7 of 10 accidents were caused by illegal crossing. A higher number of accidents occurred during the summer months and during the evening hours (from 5.00 pm till 8.00 pm).
Conclusions: The traffic accidents represent a real public health problem in Romania and a serious burden for the health system. The gap between Romania and the other EU member states needs to be diminished in the next decade. In this purpose, the future national road safety strategy should be in line with the EU objectives, but also with the national priorities. Research is needed to understand the causes and the socio-economical impact of traffic accidents and to define appropriate national objectives.