Road Traffic Injuries

Authors: Abdulgafoor Bachani, Margie Peden, G. Gururaj, Robyn Norton, Adnan Hyder


This chapter discusses the leading cause of unintentional injuries, road traffic injuries (RTIs), poses a significant economic and societal burden. Although definite data on the number of people who survive RTIs but live with disabilities are almost nonexistent, estimates suggest that for every one RTI-related death, an additional 20–50 more individuals suffer some disability. Risk factors for RTIs include precrash behavior such as speeding, driving while impaired or distracted, or driving a compromised vehicle; crash phase outcomes due to failure to use seat belts, helmets, and child restraints; and postcrash care deficiencies in trauma and emergency care services. Legislatures can encourage a culture of safe road behavior by setting speed limits, enforcing helmet use, penalizing alcohol-impaired driving, and requiring seat belt use and child restraint use. Enhancements to vehicles can also reduce or eliminate the hazard of RTIs. The safe systems approach recognizes that multiple sectors need to work in harmony to minimize the occurrence of these crashes and their impacts.