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Pediatría (Asunción)

versión On-line ISSN 1683-9803


ARIAS COHL, Santiago. Factors associated with traffic accidents involving minors less than 19 years of age(1). Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2005, vol.32, n.1, pp.16-22. ISSN 1683-9803.

Background: Traffic accidents constitute an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the pediatric population of Paraguay. Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the risk factors associated with traffic accidents involving minors less than 19 years of age. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study with analysis of factors from traffic accidents in which minors of less than 19 years of age were involved and received assistance in the Centro de Emergencias Médicas (Emergency Medical Center) of Asuncion, Paraguay between June 1997 and June 1998. Results: The 548 cases involving minors, comprising 20% (548/2740) of all traffic accidents during this period, were analyzed. More than 80% of the drivers of vehicles involved in these accidents were of 17 or 18 years of age. and 52.6% were males. The injured were mostly males, with 59% ranging from ages 15 to 18, while 58.4% of the accidents occurred between midnight and 5 AM. The weather was good at the time of 87% of the accidents, occurring on a dry surface in 93%. Driving infractions most frequently cited in association with the accidents were speeding (45.5%) and unsafe passing (22.2%). A total of 99 accidents (18.1%) were alcohol-related, and in 88% (87/99) of these cases the injured were minors aged 15 to 18. Rollover and crash were the principal mechanisms of injury, and temporary disability occurred in most (69.7%) cases, while death occurred in 2.1%. In 83.5% of the cases seat belts were not used. Discussion: The need to establish mechanisms and policies for prevention related to the use of motor vehicles in the country is demonstrated, as is the need for joint road-safety educational programs focused on this vulnerable group.

Palabras clave : traffic accidents; automobile accidents; road safety; juvenile drivers; alcohol.

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