Identifying risk factors for household burdens of road traffic fatalities: regression results from a cross-sectional survey in Taiwan.

BMC Public Health

PubMedID: 27899078

Huang L. Identifying risk factors for household burdens of road traffic fatalities: regression results from a cross-sectional survey in Taiwan. BMC Public Health. 2016;16(1):1202.
BACKGROUND
Road traffic fatalities (RTF) are among the top ten causes of deaths in the world. The risk factors for RTF fatal victims have been extensively characterized, but studies of household burden of RTF have been very few in number. Accordingly, this article investigates post-crash impacts on RTF victims' family members, including the adverse impacts of lost income, occupational disruption, unfavorable family dynamics, and residential relocation.

METHODS
Survey data from 1291 RTF family members interviewed in Taiwan in 2012 provide the evidence of impact used in this article. Twelve variables related to the family member's socio-demographic background were used to predict the scope of the adverse impact of a fatal crash in regression models developed for this analysis.

RESULTS
RTF victims' spouses with relatively low personal incomes and strong dependence upon the crash victims were found to be most likely to experience a marked decrease in post- crash quality of life. RTF victims' family members who lived with few other adult cohabitants and had more juvenile dependents and were emotionally dependent on the victims were found to be quite likely to experience post- crash setbacks in occupational stability. RTF victims' family members who were emotionally dependent on the victims were found to be more likely to experience major family life disruptions. The younger the RTF victims' family members, and the more years since the crash, the higher the likelihood of residential relocation taking place.

CONCLUSIONS
The results noted help identify those RTF victims' families that will most likely be adversely affected by the crash. The true societal costs of RTF crashes should include the adversities suffered by the fatal crash victims' families. Social welfare policies, mental health support, and timely supplemental resources should be made available to those surviving families most at risk of major life disruptions.