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PeerJ. 2019 Aug 6;7:e7423. doi: 10.7717/peerj.7423. eCollection 2019.

Road traffic injuries in China from 2007 to 2016: the epidemiological characteristics, trends and influencing factors.

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Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi, Guizhou, China.
Center for Injury Research and Policy & Center for Pediatric Trauma Research, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH, USA.



Road traffic accidents are one of the serious disasters that cause public injury, fatality and great economic loss. They are a growing public health problem around the world.


The aim of this study was to determine epidemiological characteristics, tendency and possible influencing factors of road traffic injuries (RTIs) in China, so as to give target suggestions on preventative measures.


Road traffic accident data were obtained from National Bureau of Statistics of China and Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China. Descriptive statistic such as RTIs frequency, trends of different accident types from 2007 to 2016; the RTIs difference between different regions and road surfaces were compared; and the possible influencing factors of RTIs were also explored.


Over the past decade, with the mileage of constructed highway increased, the frequency of road traffic accidents have declined substantially in China, and the death toll from road traffic accidents with motor vehicles has declined from 2007 to 2015, Conversely, the number of deaths from non-motor vehicle accidents has risen rapidly since 2012. Our study showed that the traffic accident related mortality in Guizhou province was different from the level of the whole nation, and the Eastern, Central and Western areas of China were all significantly different (P < 0.001). Linear regression suggested a significant affected of gross domestic product (GDP)-per-capita, education level, the number of health institutions, populations, and car ownership status on traffic accident death tolls (P < 0.001). Moreover, cement concrete pavement roads were associated with the highest occurrence rates of RTI, and RTIs was statistically significant (P < 0.001) on different road surfaces.


Even though the frequency of road traffic accidents has declined, RTIs remain an urgent public health problem in China. Thus, the government should give some target preventative measures to reduce RTIs, aiming at different regions, the increasing trend of the death toll related to non-motor vehicles and the highest occurrence on cement concrete pavement roads.


Areas; RTIs; Road surface; Traffic accidents

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare there are no competing interests.

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