The impact of environmental factors on traffic accidents in Iran
Keywords:Road Traffic Crashes, Injury, Mortality, Environmental factors
AbstractBACKGROUND: Road traffic crashes are the third highest cause of mortality in Iran. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of roadway environmental factors on traffic crash. METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Iran between March 21, 2010 and December 30, 2010. The data on road traffic crashes were obtained from the Traffic Police Department records. These records were classified to control for the main confounders related to the type of crash and roadway environmental factors. Roadway environmental factors included crash scene light, weather, place of accident, the defects and geometrics of roadway and road surface. RESULTS: The study included 542,863 traffic crashes. The proportions of road traffic crash which led to injury were 24.44% at sunrise and 27.16% at sunset compared with 5.43% and 1.43% deaths at sunrise and sunset respectively. In regard to day time accidents, the proportions were 20.50% injuries and 0.55% deaths. The statistical analysis of the results showed that the ratio of injuries and deaths were significantly higher at sunrise and sunset than those occurring during daytime (P less than 0.001). The highest rate of death (5.07%) was due to dusty weather compared to 5.07% for other weather conditions (P less than 0.001). The highest mortality rate (3.45%) occurred on oily surfaces (P less than 0.001). The defective traffic signs were responsible for 30,046 injuries and 5.58% deaths, and road narrowing accounted for 22,775 injuries and, 4.23% deaths which indicated that the roadway defects inflict most frequent injuries and deaths. The lowest (0.74 %) and highest (3.09%) proportion of traffic crash- related deaths were due to flat straight and winding uphill/downhill roads respectively (P less than 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Sunrise, sunset, dusty weather, oily road surfaces and winding uphill/downhill road were hazardous environmental factors. This study provides an insight into the potential impacts of environmental factors on road traffic accidents and underlines the implementation of appropriate preventive measures. © 2013 KUMS, All rights reserved
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