Economic Sanctions, Military Activity, and Road Traffic Crashes in Vojvodina, Serbia
BACKGROUND: Political violence has not been examined as a risk factor for traumatic injuries from road traffic crashes.
OBJECTIVE: To identify trends in road traffic crashes related to war-related military activity and international economic sanctions in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Serbia.
METHODS: Overall road traffic crashes and crashes leading to hospitalization and fatality in Vojvodina, Serbia were examined from 1996 through 2005. Rates were calculated per 100,000 population and per 10,000 registered vehicles. Three time periods were examined: years with international sanctions and military activity (1996-1999); years with international sanctions but no military activity (2000-2001); years with neither sanctions nor military activity (2002-2005).
RESULTS: Compared with the period with neither sanctions nor military activity, severe injury crashes were 1.23 times more common (95% CI 1.19 to 1.27) during the period with sanctions and military activity and 1.21 times more common (95% CI 1.16 to 1.27) during the period with sanctions but no military activity.
CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that vehicle travel became safer after the end of military action and economic sanctions. Road traffic safety needs to be a priority during both periods of political unrest and its recovery phase.