Magnitude and categories of pedestrian fatalities in South Africa.
- PubMed: 18329410
Road traffic injuries, a major global public health burden, are concentrated in low-income and middle-income countries.(1) In contrast to high-income countries, pedestrians make up the largest group of road traffic injuries and fatalities in low- and middle-income countries. This article presents an analysis of pedestrian fatalities (2001-2004) in four South African cities. The article describes the magnitude, demographic, and temporal factors associated with pedestrian fatalities and presents a typological analysis to identify particular groups of at risk pedestrians. The analysis can serve to inform the development of prevention programmes tailored to the needs of specific at risk pedestrian groups. Data were obtained from the National Injury Mortality Surveillance System (NIMSS). The results indicated that there were a total of 7433 pedestrian deaths (2001-2004) for the four cities and the majority occurred over weekends. Most (56.7%) were between ages 20 and 44 years. Overall, there were 3.3 male pedestrian deaths for every female pedestrian death, and over half (58%) of the 4004 cases tested were positive for alcohol. A typological analysis identified three categories of pedestrian fatalities: (1) male pedestrian fatalities that showed high levels of alcohol concentrations, (2) female and elderly pedestrian deaths that occurred between 6 AM and midday, and (3) children, adolescents, and young adult pedestrian fatalities that typically occurred during weekday afternoons and evenings. The findings call for multiple strategies for combating pedestrian fatalities.