Road traffic accidents in a Swedish municipality

Public Health. 1990 Jan;104(1):55-64. doi: 10.1016/s0033-3506(05)80346-4.


A continuous all embracing registration of acute, in-patient and out-patient visits at hospitals and primary health care centres, was conducted in Skaraborg County in western Sweden. A special focus was directed at accident cases which account for 20% of the total number of acute visits. The accidents were divided up by environment: home, work, traffic and other. Cases of road traffic accidents have been mapped out in more detail with the help of standardised and structured surveys via telephone interviews, information from hospital records, and death certificates. This study aimed at achieving an increased understanding and knowledge about the accident pattern in the traffic environment in a municipality. Road traffic accidents accounted for 6.5% of all accidents. Cyclists, car drivers, car passengers and pedestrians were the most common victims. Children showed a high frequency of bicycle accidents. There was an increased risk of injury for young car-drivers. Thirty-six per cent were single-accidents. Cars and bicycles dominated among injury-inducing vehicles. Head, arm and knee injuries were most common. Twenty-six per cent of the victims were hospitalized. Safety devices were not used in 10% of cases where they should have been used according to legislation. A comparison of our registration system for road traffic accidents with the official statistics of Sweden reveals a substantial under-reporting of road traffic accidents in the latter. Consequently, a need exists for the surveillance of injuries by the public health services as a basis of injury control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Urban Population
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy