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Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot. 2012;19(4):331-9. doi: 10.1080/17457300.2011.628752. Epub 2011 Oct 28.

Under-reporting of road traffic crash data in Ghana.

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Department of Civil Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University Post Office, Kumasi, Ghana.


Having reliable estimates of the shortfalls in road traffic crash data is an important prerequisite for setting more realistic targets for crash/casualty reduction programmes and for a better appreciation of the socio-economic significance of road traffic crashes. This study was carried out to establish realistic estimates of the overall shortfall (under-reporting) in the official crash statistics in Ghana over an eight-year period (1997-2004). Surveys were conducted at hospitals and among drivers to generate relevant alternative data which were then matched against records in police crash data files and the official database. Overall shortfalls came from two sources, namely, 'non-reporting' and 'under-recording'. The results show that the level of non-reporting varied significantly with the severity of the crash from about 57% for property damage crashes through 8% for serious injury crashes to 0% for fatal crashes. Crashes involving cyclists and motorcyclists were also substantially non-reported. Under-recording on the other hand declined significantly over the period from an average of 37% in 1997-1998 to 27% in 2003-2004. Thus, the official statistics of road traffic crashes in Ghana are subject to significant shortfalls that need to be accounted for. Correction factors have therefore been suggested for adjusting the official data.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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