Statement of Purpose Understanding differences in injury outcomes across race/ethnicity for those injured in a motor vehicle crash (MVC) is essential to injury prevention. This study assesses differences in hospital and crash characteristics by race/ethnicity using a state-level linked dataset.
Methods/Approach Data from a 2018 linked North Carolina MVC and trauma registry (NCTR) dataset was used in this analysis. We applied descriptive statistics to analyze differences in hospital and crash outcomes across race and ethnicity. Hospital outcomes of interest included injury severity score (ISS), insurance status, discharge status, and length of stay (LOS). Crash characteristics examined included restraint use, road user, residential status, age, and sex.
Results A total of 5,543 patients had known race/ethnicity data. Of those, 64% were Non-Hispanic/White (n=3597), 29% were Non-Hispanic/Black (n=1580), and 7% were Hispanic (n=366). Across all race/ethnicity groups, patients were majority male, reported having serious injuries (Mean ISS = 11), and with a mean LOS of 6–7 days. Additionally, patients were more commonly discharged home or to long-term care facilities, as compared to other discharge dispositions. When assessing crash characteristics, Non-Hispanic/Whites and Hispanics had a higher frequency of reporting residing in rural areas compared to Non-Hispanic/Black populations. Non-Hispanic/Whites were older and had a higher frequency of being classified as drivers. While patients identified as Non-Hispanic/Black were majority between the ages of 26–35 years and had a higher frequency of being classified as a pedestrian. Hispanics were also majority younger (20–25 years) and had a higher frequency of being classified as passengers.
Conclusion The current study found injury and crash outcomes differ across race/ethnicity using an MVC and trauma registry linked dataset that can inform future research to understand why racial differences exist across transportation safety outcomes to strengthen injury prevention programs. Linked datasets provide additional information regarding the distribution of MVC outcomes for specific populations.
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