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The new Brazilian traffic code and some characteristics of victims in southern Brazil
  1. C L B Liberatti,
  2. S M Andrade,
  3. D A Soares
  1. Department of Community Health, State University of Londrina, Paraná, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to:
 Selma M Andrade, Rua Pernambuco, 1227–Ap 204, 86.020–071–Londrina–PR, Brazil


Objective—The aim was to study characteristics of traffic accident victims before and after the implementation of the new Brazilian traffic code, in January 1998.

Subjects and methods—The study population was car and motorcycle occupants seen in a pre-hospital care service in Londrina, Paraná State (Brazil) before the introduction of the new Brazilian traffic code, from 22 January to 21 July 1997, and after its implementation during the same period in 1998. Victims were analyzed over the time periods according to helmet and seat belt use, gender, underage driving, and alcohol on the breath.

Results—Use of seat belts increased from 45% to 62.6% and of helmets from 31.2% to 66.2% after the introduction of the new Brazilian code. The proportion driving under age 18 and with perceptible alcoholic breath declined significantly only among motorcycle riders. There was a 20% decline in car occupant injuries along with a 9% reduction in motorcycle related injuries after the change of the law.

Conclusion—Results favor the hypothesis that rigorous legislation increases safer practices in traffic, at least during the first months of its implementation.

  • traffic accidents
  • legislation
  • seat belts
  • helmet

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