184509 Utilization of law enforcement data to examine incidence and risk factors of motor vehicle crash: Riverside County, California

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 9:15 AM

Marshare Penny, MPH , Epidemiology and Program Evaluation, Riverside County Department of Public Health, Riverside, CA
Wendy Betancourt, MPH , Epidemiology and Program Evaluation Branch, Riverside County Department of Public Health, Riverside, CA
Injury remains a leading cause of death and disability across age groups, with motor vehicle crash as the leading cause of injury-related death. In California crash data, is maintained by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) within the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). Riverside County, CA Department of Public Health used SWITRS non-public use data to explore the incidence of Riverside County motor vehicle crash and related injuries and fatalities. The results provided stakeholders and administrators with pertinent information to direct community-based and public health efforts, and to influence policy decisions. We examined 2006 motor vehicle crash incidence data for Riverside County and generated several research questions. First, when were crashes most likely to occur and does that change when alcohol is involved? Who was at greatest risk of motor-vehicle-related fatality and did restraint usage reduce the risk? Lastly, what were the most common behavioral causes of crashes and were these behaviors consistently reported by law enforcement? Cross-sectional analyses were conducted to answer the questions. We found that 72% of crashes occurred during daytime hours; however alcohol-related crashes occurred most often during evening hours. Sixty-six percent of fatalities were among males and 90% of those unrestrained were killed or reported injuries. Unsafe speed was the most common reported cause of crashes; however data on distractions was inconsistently reported and could not be analyzed. Areas of further research include investigation into geographical differences in crash location, and examination into crash-related behaviors to identify potential linkages between crash risk and type.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the research questions generated to examine the incidence of motor vehicle crash in Riverside County. 2. Articulate the findings of the cross-sectional analysis. 3. Identify limitations of the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) data.

Keywords: Motor Vehicles, Injury Risk

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have more than five years experience as a public health epidemiologist and have a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from San Diego State University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Injury Epidemiology
See more of: Epidemiology