Burden of Road Traffic Injuries in Turkey

P. Puvanachandra, C. Hoe, Türker Özkan, Timo Lajunen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are one of the leading causes of global deaths, contributing to 1.3 million lives lost each year. Although all regions are affected, low- and middle-income countries share a disproportionate burden. The significance of this public health threat is growing in Turkey, where current estimates show that 2.0 percent of all deaths in the country are due to RTIs. Despite the significance of this growing epidemic, data pertaining to RTIs in Turkey are limited. In order to address the gap in knowledge, this article presents an overview of the epidemiology of RTIs in Turkey through an analysis of available secondary data sets and a comprehensive review of scientifically published studies. Methods: A literature review was performed during December 2010 using PubMed, Embase, and ISIS Web of Knowledge databases and Google search engines. Peer-reviewed literature pertaining to Turkey and RTIs were selected for screening. Secondary data were also procured with assistance from Turkish colleagues through an exploration of data sources pertaining to RTIs in Turkey. Results: The literature review yielded a total of 70 studies with publication years ranging from 1988 to 2010. Secondary data sources were procured from the ministries of Health and Interior as well as the Turkish Statistical Institute. These data sources focus primarily on crashes, injuries, and fatalities (crash rate of 1328.5 per 100,000 population; injury rate of 257.9 per 100,000 population; fatality rate of 5.9 per 100,000). Risk factor data surrounding road safety are limited. Conclusion: The findings reveal the significant burden that RTIs pose on the health of the Turkish population. The introduction of new technologies such as the novel digital recording systems in place to record pre-hospital services and Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking of road traffic crashes by the police have allowed for a more accurate picture of the burden of RTIs in Turkey. There are, however, some considerable gaps and limitations within the data systems. Incorporation of standardized definitions, regular data audits, and timely review of collated data will improve the utility of RTI data and allow it to be used for policy influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-75
Number of pages12
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012


  • Injury epidemiology
  • Low-income countries
  • Middle-income countries
  • Road traffic crashes
  • Road traffic injuries
  • Turkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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