Road Traffic Injury Epidemic in Jamaica: Implications for Governance and Public Policy

Tazhmoye Crawford, Donovan McGrowder


Road traffic accidents, the leading cause of death in adolescents and young adults are being recognized as a growing public health problem in Jamaica.  The study examines road traffic accident injuries and fatalities in Jamaica among road users, as well as by categories of fatalities, gender, motor-vehicle, time-of-day and location.  In the period 2001 to 2005, the highest number of victims was between 20 – 29 years of age.   Of the 1,856 road traffic accident victims from 2001 to 2005, the highest number occurred in 2002 (408), while the least in 2005 (326).  There was a greater incidence of road traffic accidents during daytime between 0600h and 1800h (53.2%) and mainly on weekends (52.6%).  Pedestrians were the most likely victims of road traffic accidents, thus accounted for 30.2% (667), followed by private motor car drivers 16.9% (374) and private motor car passengers 16.6% (368).  The study concludes that road traffic injuries impacts on long and short-term wealth, affecting families and public health.

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