Birutė Strukčinskienė, Robert Bauer, Vaiva Strukčinskaitė, Sigutė Norkiene
The goal of this study was to analyze the changes in mortality trends of road traffic injuries for the whole population in transitional Lithuania over 1971 to 2014. Special attention was paid to the potential effect of the activities at macro and micro-level, and the socio-economic changes after the Independence in 1991. The data were derived from the Department of Statistics for the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the Archives of Health Information Centre, and the Institute of Hygiene in Lithuania. The numbers have been based on the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) of the World Health Organization (WHO). Trends were estimated by the use of logarithmic regression. During the study, trends before the Independence in 1991 and after the Independence were compared. The study revealed that during the 44-year study period, a total of 38,982 people died from road traffic injuries in Lithuania. Men deceased 3.2 times more than that of women. About 40% of those killed in road traffic crashes were pedestrians. The mortality rates of road traffic injuries showed no significant change over the pre-independence period (1971- 1991) for the whole group. However, during the post-independence period (1992-2014), the mortality rates of road traffic injuries in the country significantly decreased for the whole population. Before the Independence (1971-1991), no change was presented nor in men and nor in women subgroups, whereas after the Independence (1992-2014), road traffic injury deaths fell significantly in both sexes. In addition, over the post-independence period, a significant decrease in pedestrian mortality trends for the whole population, and in men and women subgroups was observed. The study confirmed that sustainable preventive measures at macro and micro levels had possible impact on fatal road traffic injuries in the country. Socioeconomic changes, political reforms, education activities, safe environment creation, legislation, and improved healthcare seem to have contributed to the significant decrease of fatal road traffic injuries in transitional Lithuania. Continuous and permanent injury prevention and road safety promotion work is recommended for road safety management.
Keyword(s): road traffic; injury; mortality; trends.
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