The epidemiology of road traffic injury hotspots in Kigali, Rwanda from police data

BMC Public Health. 2016 Aug 2:16:697. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3359-4.


Background: Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are the eighth-leading cause of death worldwide, with low- and middle-income countries sharing a disproportionate number of fatalities. African countries, like Rwanda, carry a higher burden of these fatalities and with increased economic growth, these numbers are expected to rise. We aim to describe the epidemiology of RTIs in Kigali Province, Rwanda and create a hotspot map of crashes from police data.

Methods: Road traffic crash (RTC) report data from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013 was collected from Kigali Traffic Police. In addition to analysis of descriptive data, locations of RTCs were mapped and analyzed through exploratory spatial data analysis to determine hotspots.

Results: A total of 2589 of RTCs were reported with 4689 total victims. The majority of victims were male (94.7 %) with an average age of 35.9 years. Cars were the most frequent vehicle involved (43.8 %), followed by motorcycles (14.5 %). Motorcycles had an increased risk of involvement in grievous crashes and pedestrians and cyclists were more likely to have grievous injuries. The hotspots identified were primarily located along the major roads crossing Kigali and the two busiest downtown areas.

Conclusions: Despite significant headway by the government in RTC prevention, there continue to be high rates of RTIs in Rwanda, specifically with young males and a vulnerable road user population, such as pedestrians and motorcycle users. Improvements in police data and reporting by laypersons could prove valuable for further geographic information system analysis and efforts towards crash prevention and targeting education to motorcycle taxis could help reduce RTIs in a severely affected population.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Automobile Driving
  • Automobiles*
  • Female
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motorcycles*
  • Pedestrians*
  • Police
  • Rwanda / epidemiology
  • Spatial Analysis
  • Walking
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Young Adult

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.2058630