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Pattern of road traffic injuries in Ghana: Implications for control

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Road traffic injuries and fatalities are increasing in Ghana. Police-collected crash and injury data for the period 1994-1998 were aggregated and analyzed using the MAAP5 accident analysis package developed by the Transport Research Laboratory, U.K. Published results of recent transport-related epidemiological and other surveys provided an additional data source. According to the 1994-1998 police data, road traffic crashes were a leading cause of death and injuries in Ghana. The other leading causes of death and injuries are occupational injuries which involve nonmechanized farming and tribal conflicts. The majority of road traffic fatalities (61.2%) and injuries (52.3%) occurred on roads in rural areas. About 58% more people died on roads in the rural areas than in urban areas, and generally more severe crashes occurred on rural roads compared with urban areas. Pedestrians accounted for 46.2% of all road traffic fatalities. The majority of these (66.8%) occurred in urban areas. The second leading population of road users affected was riders in passenger-ferrying buses, minibuses and trucks. The majority of these (42.8%) were killed on roads that pass through rural areas. Pedestrian casualties were overrepresented (nearly 90%) in five regions located in the southern half of the country. Efforts to tackle pedestrian safety should focus on the five regions of the country where most pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas. Policies are also needed to protect passengers in commercially operated passenger-ferrying buses, minibuses and trucks because these vehicles carry a higher risk of being involved in fatal crashes.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-04-01

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