The traffic safety situation among foreign born in Sweden: based on eight road user population zones

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Susanne Gustafsson
Torbjörn Falkmer

Road traffic crashes are identified as a world wide public health problem. Prognoses by WHO suggest these crashes to constitute the third most common reason for fatalities and disabilities in 2020. However, the crash risk varies from country to country. Previous research concerning foreign born within the Swedish road transport system shows an overrepresentation of crash involvement for this group. In order to identify the nature of the problem and to be able to compare crash involvement among foreign born with native born, the aim of the study was to cluster countries world wide into road user population zones, depending on Gross National Income (GNI), motorization, the traffic safety situation and geographical position for each country. Based on the eight identified clustered zones, comparisons of the zones and possible correlations between the different parameters were made, using Sweden (native born) as reference country. Data from several registers showed that an increase in GNI correlated with more cars and fewer traffic fatalities. For a number of zones, nearly all of them less wealthy, an increase in GNI correlated with more cars, and the more cars, the lower the number of killed road users per car. Furthermore, among foreign born, the average relative crash risk was 50% higher for males and about 10 % for females compared to native born in the Swedish road transport system. If the subgroup of crash involved car drivers 18 years and older was selected for analyses, data revealed that male foreign born ran double the risk of being involved in a crash, while for female foreign born the relative risk was increased by 70%.

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