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West Afr J Med. 2008 Oct;27(4):234-7.

Pattern of road traffic accidents in Durban municipality, South Africa.

Author information

  • 1School of Medicine, Health Policy & Practice, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK. a.olukoga@uea.ac.uk



Road traffic accidents, especially pedestrian road safety constitute a major public health problem in Durban municipality, South Africa.


To analyse the pattern of road traffic accidents, casualties and fatalities in the municipality in terms of the type of road users involved, the location and monthly distributions of the accidents.


Using published Road Traffic Accident Statistics for Durban municipality, the pattern of road traffic accidents is described with respect to person, place and time of the road traffic accidents. The casualties or fatalities per 100,000 population and casualties or fatalities per 100 kilometres were used in measuring the severity of occurrence of road traffic accidents.


Most of the casualties of road traffic accidents were drivers 4296 (46%) who accounted for 103 (17%) of the fatalities. The majority of the fatalities were pedestrians 368 (61%) who were only 2241 (24%) of the casualties. Passengers accounted for about the same proportion of the casualties and fatalities. The two urban operational areas of South Central and North Central accounted for 37,872 (73%) of the road traffic accidents, 8876 (69%) of the casualties and 358 (67%) of the fatalities. But there were more fatalities per 100,000 population in the two largely rural operational areas of North and South with 67 fatalities per 100,000 population and 35 fatalities per 100,000 population respectively. The percentage monthly distributions of the road traffic accidents, casualties and fatalities were very similar. The mean distribution of the road traffic accidents was 4323, 1072 for casualties and 50 for fatalities.


The problem of road traffic accidents is largely an urban one in Durban municipality. Only a small proportion (5%) of the accidents were serious or fatal. Pedestrians were disproportionately involved more as fatalities and drivers as casualties. The immediate implementation of a road safety strategy is recommended for the reduction of the high pedestrian and rural fatalities.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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