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Road Traffic Casualties and Risky Driving Behavior in Hualien County, 2001–2005

Yin-Ming Li

Department of Family Medicine, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital and Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan

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The highest number of road traffic fatalities has consistently occurred in eastern Taiwan, with an average of 150 lives lost in 1 year. In this study, the risk of fatal crashes caused by drivers' error was assessed, including controlling environmental factors or types of crash.
Materials and Methods
Police records of motor vehicle crashes occurring in Hualien county, from January 2001 to December 2005, were used. The analyses were based on 9611 crashes caused by drivers' error.
On average, the fatality rate was 5.2%. Half of the deaths were caused by drivers' driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and speeding. Risky driving behavior was more common in rural areas. Multivariate analysis showed that DUI and speeding were significant factors associated with fatality in rural areas.
Risky driving behavior is common in rural areas in eastern Taiwan. The characteristics of road users and the efficiency of trauma rescue systems should be further assessed. Road safety campaigns and public transport education should be discussed.


Hualien county; Risky driving behavior; Road traffic fatality


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