Fatal Road Traffic Accidents in the Mthatha Area of South Africa, 1993-2004 (Original Articles)

Fatal Road Traffic Accidents in the Mthatha Area of South Africa, 1993-2004 (Original Articles)

Each year, 1.2 million people die in RTAs worldwide and millions more sustain injuries, with some suffering permanent disabilities; the young are particularly vulnerable. The average daily global death toll is 3 285 people. (1) Earlier this century, public health experts predicted that, if current trends continue, RTA injuries will have risen by 60% by the year 2020.1 The highest RTA mortality rates occur in Latin-American countries: 42.2 per 100 000 population in El Salvador, 24 in Brazil and 22.7 in Venezuela. (2) Low- and middle-income countries have a rate slightly greater than the global average of 19/100 000, while that of high-income countries is considerably lower. The vast majority (90%) of RTA deaths are in low- and middle-income countries. (1) The World Health Organization has estimated that African countries have some of the world’s highest RTA mortality rates; for example, more than 3 000 Kenyans are killed every year, most of whom were between 15 and 44 years. The cost to the economy of these accidents equates to some US$50 million–besides the actual loss of life. (3) According to the South African National Injury Mortality Surveillance System (NIMSS), 25 000 fatal injuries were registered at 32 state mortuaries in 2001. Motor vehicle-related deaths accounted for 27% of all fatal injuries. (4) Alcoholic intoxication was a factor in around 29% of non-fatally-injured drivers, and in over 47% of fatally-injured drivers in South Africa. (5) The cost of RTA collisions in 2000 in South Africa was estimated at R13.8 billion (US$2 billion). (6) The average annual incidence of violent and/or traumatic deaths in the Mthatha area was 162 per 100 000 population, of which RTAs contributed 63 per 100 000. (7) The aim of this analysis was to estimate the mortality connected with RTAs and link it with demographic variables such as age and gender.

Fatal Road Traffic Accidents in the Mthatha Area of South Africa, 1993-2004 (Original Articles)



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