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The road most travelled: the geographic distribution of road traffic injuries in England.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Both road safety campaigns and epidemiological research into social differences in road traffic injury risk often assume that road traffic injuries occur close to home. While previous work has examined distance from home to site of collision for child pedestrians in local areas, less is known about the geographic distribution of road traffic injuries from other modes. This study explores the distribution of the distance between home residence and collision site (crash distance) by mode of transport, geographic area, and social characteristics in England. METHODS: Using 10 years of road casualty data collected by the police, we examined the distribution of crash distance by age, sex, injury severity, area deprivation, urban/rural status, year, day of week, and, in London only, ethnic group. RESULTS: 54% of pedestrians, 39% of cyclists, 17% of powered two-wheeler riders and 16% of car occupants were injured within 1 km of home. 82% of pedestrians, 83% of cyclists, 54% of powered two-wheeler and 53% of car occupants were injured within 5 km of home. We found some social and geographic differences in crash distance: for all transport modes injuries tended to occur closer to home in more deprived or urban areas; younger and older pedestrians and cyclists were also injured closer to home. Crash distance appears to have increased over time for pedestrian, cyclist and car occupant injuries, but has decreased over time for powered two-wheeler injuries. CONCLUSIONS: Injuries from all travel modes tend to occur quite close to home, supporting assumptions made in epidemiological and road safety education literature. However, the trend for increasing crash distance and the social differences identified may have methodological implications for future epidemiological studies on social differences in injury risk.

SUBMITTER: Steinbach R 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3680192 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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