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Ethiopian Journal of Health Development

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Road traffic accident: The neglected health problem in Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia

FH Mekonnen, S Teshager

Abstract


Background: Road traffic accident is a major but neglected public health challenge. There is a paucity of published data on road traffic crashes in Amhara National Regional State.
Objective: This study attempts to describe the main causes and consequences of road traffic accidents in the Amhara Region.
Methods: This descriptive study employed secondary data collected by Amhara National Regional State Police Commission from 2007-2011. Mortality rate, percentage, line and bar graphs were used to show the causes and consequences of road traffic accidents.
Results: Almost half (51%) of all crashes involved freight vehicles followed by passenger vehicles which constitute one-third (34.5%) of all the accidents. Over half (54.8%) of the accidents occurred on interstate highways. Passengers accounted for the largest share of road traffic deaths across the region and pedestrians were the main victims in the urban areas. Errors committed by drivers are the chief causes of the accidents, such as failure to give priority to pedestrians, speeding, failure to stay on the right side of the road, failure to maintain distance between vehicles and failure to yield the right of way for other vehicles. Overall, these factors accounted for 83.8% of all traffic accidents.
Conclusion: Road traffic crash is a major public health problem which contributes significantly to the morbidity and mortality rate in the Amhara Region. Thus, taking the seriousness of the problem into consideration, ANRS Police Commission and Trade and Transport Bureau have to work aggressively on issues related to licensing and bringing behavioral change on derivers in order to alleviate road traffic accidents.



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