Analysis of fatal motor vehicle collisions: evidence from Central Macedonia, Greece

Hippokratia 2011; 15(1):32-36

G. Ampanozi, L. Kovatsi, E. Smyrnakis, E. Zaggelidou, M. Gavana, N. Papadakis, A. Benos


Background: The objective of this study was to assess the factors associated with the traffic mortality in the region of Central Macedonia in order to produce evidence in building up preventive policies.
Material and Methods: This study is a descriptive survey covering a three-year period (from 01-01-2006 to 31-12- 2008). The data used were supplied by the regional Road Traffic Police Service in Thessaloniki.
Results: A total of 280 fatal vehicle collisions were recorded in three years, in which 312 people died. 266 (85.26%) of the 312 people who died were men and 46 (14.74%) were women. The victims were between 1 and 91 years of age (mean ± SD, 42.00 ± 20.36 years). More fatal vehicle collisions were recorded on weekends and holidays than weekdays. Regarding the type of the vehicle, occupants of two-wheeled motor vehicles were in greater risk for dying compared to heavy duty vehicle passengers, who are considered to be protected by the vehicle. Among the 312 fatalities, alcohol was detected in 87 (28%) of the drivers who were responsible for the collision. Most of them (56/86, 64.4%) were between 15 and 44 years of age. In 6 (1.9%) cases, all of them drivers, illicit substances were detected. Vehicle collisions with younger victims were recorded during the early morning hours, whereas older people died more frequently during daytime.
Conclusions: The findings of this study are providing evidence for the design and implementation of concrete and urgently needed preventive strategies in order to control the almost completely preventable fatalities of the road crashes.