ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Identifying the causes and consequences of motor vehicle injuries in China

Guan, Ting-Rui, Norton, Robyn, Wu, ZhengLai, Han, Song, Woodward, Mark

Road Safety Across Cultures


Motor vehicle injuries are an important and growing public health problem in China. In 1996/7, they were the leading cause of injury death in urban areas and the second leading cause in rural areas. Between 1987 and 1997, while injury death rates decreased overall, death rates from traffic injury increased by 24%. These trends are consistent with those identified in the Global Burden of Disease study, in which it was projected that motor vehicle related injury in China would be the 4th leading cause of death and disability in 2020, compared with the 12th in 1990.

In addition to the observed steady increases in death rates from traffic injury, the causespecific patterns of traffic injury death are changing dramatically. In urban areas, injuries sustained in multi-vehicle crashes are becoming more predominant compared with those involving pedestrians and bicyclists. In 1989 and 1990, for example, more than half of all traffic crashes in Guangzhou city involved cars, while studies of traffic crashes on the motorways outside of Shenyang city, showed that between 1994-5, more than 40% of crashes involved collisions between two motor vehicles.