Road traffic collisions

People often do not realise what a high proportion of deaths are caused by trauma. In fact 10% of all deaths world-wide result from trauma – more than malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS combined. By 2030 road traffic collisions alone will be the fifth highest cause of deaths in the world.[1] Road traffic collisions are the single most common cause of death in people between 15 and 29 years of age, and leave a trail of disability, as well as death. They particularly affect emerging economies – Kenya is a classic example. Here many perish in small minibuses, called matatus, even though these vehicles are regulated.[2] The CLAHRC WM Co-Director, Tom Marshall, found a recent RCT of about 1,000 such matatus, randomised to have, or not have, stickers displayed prominently to motivate passengers to take demonstrative action against the driver to avoid dangerous manoeuvres.[3] Insurance claims and deaths dropped by about a half in the difference in difference analysis.[3] Too good to be generalisable? The Director would like to replicate the study, perhaps in a factorial design – any takers?

–Richard Lilford, Director of CLAHRC WM

References:
[1] World Health Organization. Injuries and violence: the facts. Geneva: World Health Organization. 2010.
[2] Chitere PO, Kibua TN. Efforts to improve road safety in Kenya: Achievements and limitations of reforms in the Matatu industry. Discussion Paper DP/081/2006. Nairobi: Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR). 2006.
[3] Habyarimana J, Jack W. Heckle and Chide: Results of a randomized road safety intervention in Kenya. J Public Econ. 2009; 95 (11-12):1438-46.

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