The call for help after an injury road accident

Accid Anal Prev. 1993 Apr;25(2):123-30. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(93)90051-w.


How soon will the authorities receive a call for help after an injury road accident? In urban Missouri 70% of the calls were received in less than five minutes. But in rural Missouri only 34% of the calls came in that quickly. These figures are based on a merge of police and emergency medical services accident data in which the earlier of the two notifications is selected as the time of first call. Police estimates of accident time are used here to calculate the interval from accident to the first call. The police estimates lack precision. This is shown by the high percentage of rounded numbers. As averages, however, these estimates show little evidence of bias. In urban areas, delays are related to time of day and type of road system, while in rural areas, remoteness of location is an added factor. Difficulty in finding a telephone quickly in certain road environments can be a problem. However, installing more stationary telephones along roads may be inefficient. Large areas would have to be covered to insure even a modest reduction in delays. More thought, therefore, should be given to the use of innovative vehicle-to-satellite technologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Bias
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Data Collection / standards
  • Emergency Medical Service Communication Systems / standards*
  • Emergency Medical Service Communication Systems / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Missouri
  • Police / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rural Population
  • Telephone / standards*
  • Telephone / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors
  • Urban Population