Birutė Strukčinskienė, Robert Bauer, Sigitas Griškonis, Vaiva Strukčinskaitė
The aim of the study was to examine the long-term trends in pedestrian mortality for children (aged 0 to 14 years) and young people (aged 15 to 19 years) over four decades in transitional Lithuania. Methods. Road traffic fatality data were obtained from Statistics Lithuania and the Archives of Health Information Centre. Trends were analysed by linear regression using “Independence” as a slopechanging intervention in 1991 and population as a further explanatory factor in structural time series models. Results. The impact of the interventions, along with the reforms and changes related with the Independence, on pedestrian fatality trends in our time series model was found highly statistically significant for children 0 to 14 years (p<0.001) and still significant for young people 15 to 19 years (p<0.05). No significant impact on the trend of road traffic deaths was found for the “control-groups” of non-pedestrian road users in the age group 0 to 14 years and adult pedestrians (over 19 years of age). For the age group 15 to 19 years the effect of reforms was also significant for non-pedestrians (p<0.05). These results indicate that the effect of measures and changes used in the post-independence period was more specific in children that participated in road traffic as pedestrians than in adult pedestrians, or in nonpedestrian road users. Conclusions. Pedestrian deaths in Lithuania fell significantly in the age groups 0-14 and 15-19 years. A declining trend was found in road traffic fatalities and in pedestrian deaths in transitional Lithuania in the post-independence period. Socioeconomic and political transformations, systematic reforms in healthcare along with sustainable preventive measures may have contributed to this decrease. Targeted road safety measures were road traffic regulations, pedestrian education and environmentally based prevention measures. As child pedestrians are the most vulnerable group of road users, continued road safety education and promotion are recommended in order to maintain this trend, and to involve adult pedestrians in this development.
Keyword(s): pedestrian; mortality; trends; children; young people; transitional Lithuania.
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