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J Trauma Inj > Epub ahead of print
DOI: https://doi.org/10.20408/jti.2020.0063    [Epub ahead of print]
Published online June 4, 2021.
Characteristics of Traffic Accidents on Highways: An Analysis Based on Patients Treated at a Regional Trauma Center
Sung Yong Lee1, Kyung Hoon Sun1, Chan Yong Park2, Tae Hoon Kim3
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Chosun University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea
2Department of Trauma Surgery, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea
3Department of Emergency Medicine, Trauma Center, Wonkwang University Hospital, Iksan, Korea
Correspondence:  Tae Hoon Kim, Tel: +82-63-859-1188, Fax: +82-63-859-1197, 
Email: doctor78em@gmail.com
Received: 19 October 2020   • Revised: 3 December 2020   • Accepted: 10 December 2020
Abstract
Purpose
There have been increasing concerns about serious traffic accidents on highways. The purpose of this study was to analyze factors affecting traffic accidents on highways and the severity of the resulting injuries.
Methods
This retrospective study was conducted at a regional trauma center. We reviewed 594 patients who had been in 114 traffic accidents on highways from January 2018 to June 2020. We collected demographic data, clinical data, accident-related factors, and meteorological data (weather and temperature).
Results
Environmental risk factors were found to be significantly associated with the incidence of traffic accidents on highways. Injury severity and the death rate were higher in sedans than in any other type of vehicle. Tunnels were the most common location of accidents, accounting for 47 accidents (41.2%) and 269 injured patients (45.3%). The injury severity of individuals riding in the driver’s seat (front seat) was high, regardless of vehicle type. Three meteorological risk factors were found to be significantly associated with traffic accidents: rainy roads (odds ratio [OR] 2.08; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.84–3.29; p=0.01), icy or snowy roads (OR 5.12; 95% CI 2.88–7.33; p<0.01), and foggy conditions (OR 2.94; 95% CI 2.15–4.03; p<0.05).
Conclusions
The injury severity of patients was affected by seat position and type of vehicle, and the frequency of accident was affected by the location. The incidence of traffic accidents was strongly influenced by meteorological conditions (rain, snow/ice, and fog).
Key Words: Accidents, traffic; Injury Severity Score; Weather


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