Epidemiology and mapping of serious and fatal road traffic injuries in Guyana: results from a cross-sectional study

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Abstract

Objective

To describe the epidemiology of Guyana's road traffic injuries and perform the first geocoding of road traffic injuries in this setting.

Methods

This was a registry-based retrospective cross-sectional study investigating collisions resulting in serious and fatal injuries. Police reports from two police divisions were used to identify victim, second party (ie, non-victim) and collision characteristics of all serious and fatal collisions between January 2012 and June 2015. Collisions with available location data were geocoded using Geographic Information Systems. Distributions of characteristics were compared for urban and rural areas. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess variables associated with fatal collisions.

Results

The study included 751 collisions, resulting in 1002 seriously or fatally injured victims. Fatally injured victims tended to be older, male and either pedestrians or cyclists. Fatal collisions tended to take place in rural areas, occur on weekends and involve speeding. Fifty-three per cent of fatalities occurred due to non-motorised road users being struck by motorised road users, and the most common fatal collision type was between pedestrians and motor vehicles (35%). The distribution of collisions was similar for urban (43.8%) and rural (56.2%) areas. Fatal collisions were more likely to occur in rural settings.

Conclusions

Road traffic injuries pose a considerable public health burden in Guyana. These results suggest a pattern of high mortality in rural collisions and a disproportionate burden of injuries on vulnerable road users. The spatial distribution of collisions should be considered in order to target interventions and improve road traffic safety.

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