Discrepancies in vehicular crash injury reporting: Northeastern Ohio Trauma Study. IV

Accid Anal Prev. 1985 Apr;17(2):147-54. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(85)90017-x.


People injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes were identified from a population-representative incidence sample of hospital emergency department visits. Matched police reports of crashes were sought in official state records of motor vehicle traffic crashes. Of the emergency department cases, 55% had matched police reports. The frequency of matched reports was highest for drivers (74%), people transported to the hospital by emergency vehicle (69%), and those requiring hospital admission (74%). The frequency was lowest for people younger than 16 years (28%), people injured as occupants of vehicles other than passenger cars (24%), medicaid recipients (33%), and nonresidents of the study region (40%). Motor vehicle traffic injuries are undercounted in police-reported statistics. For many groups, police reporting is less than 50% of the cases identified through emergency departments. The likelihood that a case of motor vehicle traffic injury will have a matched police report depends on demographic, social and crash factors as well as on injury severity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic*
  • Adolescent
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Ohio
  • Social Control, Formal
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*