Introduction: This retrospective study aims to assess the epidemiology of road traffic accident (RTA) fatalities in Singapore, other causes of death besides trauma in a RTA, and identify the groups at risk. Materials and Methods: Data of 1038 RTA fatalities were reported between 2000 and 2004. Analyses using the Fisher’s exact test for discrete variables and multivariate Cox regression analysis were performed to identify groups at risk. The risk of fatality was measured using the prevalence rate ratio (PRR). Results: The median age of victims in the sample was 36 years (interquartile range 24 to 55). Eight hundred and thirty six cases (78%) were in the economically productive age range of 15 to 65 years. Over the 5-year period, there was a preponderance of males. Majority of fatalities involved multiple injuries. There were also 64 (6.2%) and 25 (2.4%) cases of RTA fatalities from infective and cardiovascular (CVS) causes, respectively. Multivariate analyses showed that those ≥ 60 years were 4 (95% CI of PRR, 3.04 to 5.43) times as likely to be pedestrian fatalities. Conversely, the risk of fatalities involving pedestrians and cyclists was reduced for males (PRR = 0.58; 95% CI, 0.46 to 0.73). However, males were at increased risk of fatalities involving motorcyclists, scooter and pillion riders (PRR = 1.96; 95% CI, 1.43 to 2.70), whereas such risk was reduced for those aged 30 to 59 (PRR = 0.70; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.85) or ≥ 60 years (PRR = 0.30; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.42), respectively. Conclusion: As such, it appears that the groups at-risk had varying demographic characteristics. Public education could be modified to target these different groups to reduce the number of fatalities.
As countries become more developed, there is often an accompanying rise in life expectancy. However, increasing motorisation that accompanies economic growth has led to an increase in road traffi c accidents (RTAs), and a corresponding rise in fatalities. Indeed, the World Health Organization has predicted that traffi c fatalities will be the sixth leading cause of death worldwide and the second leading cause of disability-adjusted life-years lost in developing countries by the year 2020.1
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