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Climate change, weather and road deaths
  1. Leon Robertson
  1. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (retired), Yale University School of Public Health, Green Valley, Arizona, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Leon Robertson, 3551 S. Via de la Grulla Green Valley, AZ 85622, USA; nanlee252000{at}


In 2015, a 7% increase in road deaths per population in the USA reversed the 35-year downward trend. Here I test the hypothesis that weather influenced the change in trend. I used linear regression to estimate the effect of temperature and precipitation on miles driven per capita in urbanizedurbanised areas of the USA during 2010. I matched date and county of death with temperature on that date and number of people exposed to that temperature to calculate the risk per persons exposed to specific temperatures. I employed logistic regression analysis of temperature, precipitation and other risk factors prevalent in 2014 to project expected deaths in 2015 among the 100 most populous counties in the USA. Comparison of actual and projected deaths provided an estimate of deaths expected without the temperature increase.

  • motor vehicle occupant
  • motorcycle
  • pedestrian
  • bicycle
  • public health

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement A table showing the lack of correlation of temperature to environmental risk factors is available as mentioned in the manuscript.