Asia Journal of Public Health : Volume 7 No. 1, June 2016. 21-28
doi: Vol.7 No.1
Traffic Injury in Northern Thailand from 2011-2013: A Cross Sectional Survey
Tawatchai Apidechkul * Tanika Songla*
ABSTRACT: Background: Thailand faces traffic injuries despite spending large amounts of money on medical resources yearly. Methods: A cross-sectional study design aimed to explain the characteristics of traffic injury and compare between sexes in northern Thailand from 2011-2013. Subjects were recruited from 8 hospitals and 7 police stations from northern Thailand regarding age, sex, religion, marital status, year of injury, time of injury, type of vehicle, alcohol consumption, hospital admission, medical costs, treatment outcomes and high occurrence areas of injury. Chi-square was used to detect the difference between sexes at alpha = 0.05. Results: A total of 35,925 cases were reported between 2011 and 2013 from eight hospitals in northern Thailand. The majority were aged from 16-25 years old (28.0%), followed by 26-35 years old (17.4%). The peak period of traffic injury occurred in two episodes; December to January (32.8%), and April to May (36.7%). The major vehicle was motorcycle (78.9%) followed by car and truck (21.1%). In all, 29.3% had been admitted to a hospital, 82.3% stayed in a hospital less than 7 days, and 82.0% had medical costs ≤5,000 baht. Data from 7 police stations, 2,339 cases, were collected for analysis. A total of 71.4% were males, 27.6% were aged 16-25 years old, 60.9% were married and 92.0% were Buddhists. The main type of vehicle was a car (56.6%), 67.3% had their injury on a highway, 60.7% had injury during the daytime (06.00 am-06.00 pm) and 13.1% consumed alcohol. Males had a greater proportion of alcohol consumption while driving than females (p<0.001), and males had more traffic injuries than females (p<0.001). No information linking system is available between hospitals and police stations. Conclusion: Thailand needs effective and specific health promoting programs to reduce traffic accidents among young adult (16-25 years old) populations particularly among males.