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Magnitude, trends and prevention of road traffic accidents in the Republic of South Africa

Adeloye A. Adeniji, Langalibalele H. Mabuza, Elton Titus
South African Family Practice | Vol 62, No 1 | a5032 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v62i1.5032 | © 2020 Adeloye A. Adeniji, Langalibalele H. Mabuza, Elton Titus | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 November 2019 | Published: 26 May 2020

About the author(s)

Adeloye A. Adeniji, Department of Family Medicine, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; and, Ceres Hospital, Ceres, Cape Winelands District, Ceres, Western Cape, South Africa
Langalibalele H. Mabuza, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Primary Health Care, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Elton Titus, Ceres Hospital, Ceres, Cape Winelands District, Ceres, Western Cape, South Africa; and, Eastern Cape Provincial Government, King Williams Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Road traffic injuries (RTIs) constitute one of the five major disease burdens in South Africa with high mortality and morbidity. Thus far, the scientific enquiry into this burden has not been accompanied by successful government efforts to meet the challenge. Currently, more than 1.2 million people die and 20–50 million are with disabilities annually country-wide from RTIs. While there is a progressive reduction in mortality related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) conditions as a result of interventions, the mortality from RTI is seen to be progressively worsening as a result of increasing motorisation. There are disparities in the burden of RTI across different countries, with low- and middle-income countries bearing the highest burden. In Africa, 24.1 per 100 000 people die annually from RTI compared to 10.3 per 100 000 people in European countries. This opinion article investigates the magnitude, trends and prevention of RTI in South Africa.

Keywords

road traffic injury (RTI); World Health Organization (WHO); South Africa (SA); low income; middle income; high income; gross domestic product (GDP)

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