Comparing estimates of road traffic deaths and non-fatal road traffic injuries in Cambodia

Inj Prev. 2022 Aug;28(4):340-346. doi: 10.1136/injuryprev-2021-044504. Epub 2022 Feb 11.


Introduction: Timely, accurate and detailed information about traffic injuries are essential for managing national road safety programmes. However, there is considerable under-reporting in official statistics of many low and middle-income countries (LMICs) and large discrepancies between estimates from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study and WHO's Global Health Estimates (GHE). We compared all sources of epidemiological information on traffic injuries in Cambodia to guide efforts to improve traffic injury statistics.

Methods: We estimated the incidence of traffic deaths and injuries and household ownership of motor vehicles in Cambodia from nationally representative surveys and censuses. We compared findings with GDB and GHE estimates.

Results: We identified seven sources for estimating traffic deaths and three for non-fatal injuries that are not included as data sources in GBD and GHE models. These sources and models suggest a fairly consistent estimate of approximately 3100 deaths annually, about 50% higher than official statistics, likely because most hospital deaths are not recorded. Surveys strongly suggest that the vehicle fleet is dominated by motorcycles, which is not consistent with GBD estimates that suggest similar numbers of motorcyclist and vehicle occupant deaths. Estimates of non-fatal injuries from health surveys were about 7.5 times official statistics and 1.5 times GBD estimates.

Conclusion: Including local epidemiological data sources from LMICs can help reduce uncertainty in estimates from global statistical models and build trust in estimates among local stakeholders. Such analysis should be used as a benchmark to assess and strengthen the completeness of reporting of the national surveillance system.

Keywords: low-middle income country; motor vehicle � Occupant; motorcycle; pedestrian; surveillance.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic*
  • Cambodia / epidemiology
  • Global Burden of Disease
  • Humans
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Motorcycles
  • Wounds and Injuries* / epidemiology