Objective Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are the leading cause of disability-adjusted life years lost in Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Injury prevention strategies often overlook the interaction of individual and behavioural risk factors in assessing the severity of RTI outcomes. We conducted a systematic investigation of the underlying interactive effects of age and gender on the severity of fatal and non-fatal RTI outcomes in the Sultanate of Oman.
Methods We used the Royal Oman Police national database of road traffic crashes for the period 2010–2014. Our study was based on 35 785 registered incidents: of these, 10.2% fatal injuries, 6.2% serious, 27.3% moderate, 37.3% mild injuries and 19% only vehicle damage but no human injuries. We applied a generalised ordered logit regression to estimate the effect of age and gender on RTI severity, controlling for risk behaviours, personal characteristics, vehicle, road, traffic, environment conditions and geographical location.
Results The most dominant group at risk of all types of RTIs was young male drivers. The probability of severe incapacitating injuries was the highest for drivers aged 25–29 (26.6%) years, whereas the probability of fatal injuries was the highest for those aged 20–24 (26.9%) years. Analysis of three-way interactions of age, gender and causes of crash show that overspeeding was the primary cause of different types of RTIs. In particular, the probability of fatal injuries among male drivers attributed to overspeeding ranged from 3%–6% for those aged 35 years and above to 13.4% and 17.7% for those aged 25–29 years and 20–24 years, respectively.
Conclusions The high burden of severe and fatal RTIs in Oman was primarily attributed to overspeed driving behaviour of young male drivers in the 20–29 years age range. Our findings highlight the critical need for designing early gender-sensitive road safety interventions targeting young male and female drivers.
- road traffic injuries
- age-gender interaction
- cause of crash
- registration data
- generalised ordered logit regression
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Contributors AKA-A and SSP conceptualised the study and prepared the initial draft. AKA-A prepared the dataset for research, conducted the literature review and led the statistical analysis with support and supervision from L-CZ and SSP. AAA-M secured access to data, contributed to the interpretations and revised the paper for intellectual content. AKA-A, SSP and LCZ conducted the final review and revised the manuscript for submission. All authors read and approved the final version of the article before submission.
Funding Ministry of Higher Education, Sultanate of Oman.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval University of Southampton research ethics committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement Data for this research were obtained from the National Road Traffic Accident database maintained and published by the Directorate of Road Traffic within the Royal Oman Police. The authors were granted permission to use the database by The Research Council (TRC) of the Sultanate of Oman (https://home.trc.gov.om/tabid/314/language/en-US/Default.aspx). The authors have signed an agreement to maintain data confidentiality and data sharing protocols as stipulated by TRC.
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