Road traffic accidents (RTAs) are important causes of mortality and morbidity due to the increasing number of vehicles, changes in lifestyle and the risk behaviours among general population. With the aim of exploring various epidemiological characteristics of RTAs, this retrospective analysis of medico-legal autopsies was conducted between January 2005 and December 2009 in the Department of Forensic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal in Karnataka, South India. The information was collected from post-mortem registers and inquest documents received from the investigating police officers. The collected information was analysed using SPSS version 11.0. Out of the 879 autopsies conducted during the study period, 39% were due to RTAs. Among the victims, 89.8% were males and 10.2% were females. The mean age of victims was 38.7 years, which was slightly higher in females compared to males. Most of the male victims belonged to the age group 20-29 years. The head injuries were responsible for nearly 3/4th of deaths followed by abdominal injuries (6.7%). The mean duration of survival following road traffic accident was 6-7 days. Occupants of motorized two wheelers (43%) and pedestrians (33%) were the most common victims of RTAs followed by occupants of light motor vehicles (LMVs). The most common offending agents in road traffic accidents were heavy motor vehicles (35.2%) followed by light motor vehicles (31.7%). In view of the above finding, it is apt to conclude that RTAs are important public health hazards and should be addressed through strengthening of emergency healthcare, stricter enforcement of traffic laws and health education.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine