Background Under the sustainable development goals (SDG), Sri Lanka is planning to halve the road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030. The main obstacle for achieving this goals is lack of accurate data. Road traffic crashes (RTC) are largely under-reported in Sri Lanka after 2003. Therefore, we conducted this study to estimate the number of under-reported RTCs, and predict the number of actual crashes and injuries up to 2030 using data from 1977 to 2014.
Methods We extracted RTC data for 1977 to 2014 from an interim report on RTCs of a Parliamentary Select Committee and from the official web site of the Sri Lanka Police. We analysed extracted data using Microsoft Excel and R. We calculated crash, injury, and fatality rates per 100,000 population and carried out the prediction using ‘forecast’ package in R.
Results Between 1977 and 2003, total crash rate increased from 109.7 to 310.7, minor injuries increased from 44.2 to 61.4, grievous injuries increased from 6.0 to 18.0, and deaths increased from 5.8 to 10.6 per 100,000 population. From 2003 to 2014, total crash rate decreased from 310.7 to 165.6, minor injuries decreased from 61.4 to 59.7 and damage only crashes decrease from 187.1 to 64.2 per 100,000 population. According to the analysis, this was a false reduction, and 334,328 damage only crashes and 18,683 minor injury crashes have been under-reported between 2003 and 2014. However, fatalities and grievous injury crashes were not under-reported. Accordingly, by 2025, total crashes will increase to 480.7, damage only crashes will increase to 339.7, minor injuries will increase to 71.8, and grievous injuries will increase to 30.4 per 100,000 population. fatality rate will not increase in similar intensity.
Conclusion Under-reporting of RTCs is masking its rapid increase in Sri Lanka. To achieve SDG on RTCs, Sri Lankan policy makers have to take this under-reporting in to consideration and might use this prediction to allocate funds and resources for prevention of RTCs.
- Road traffic crashes
- traffic injury
- Sri Lanka