Vulnerable road users (VRUs) are defined as slow-moving, exposed and/or unprotected road users and are often at a higher risk of injury when involved in a crash. VRUs traditionally include pedestrians, motorcycles and non-motorized cyclists. While Brazil’s road traffic mortality rate has been shown to be significantly higher than surrounding countries Chile and Argentina, little information has been published regarding VRU fatalities in the country.

In the published paper, “Road Traffic Deaths in Brazil: Rising Trends in Pedestrian and Motorcycle Occupant Deaths,” a team of researchers, including JH-IIRU team members Aruna Chandran and David Bishai and colleagues from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and the Vida No Transito Evaluation Team, examined the pattern of road traffic deaths disaggregated by VRU categories with the use of the Brazilian Ministry of Health’s mortality database.

The researchers found that VRUs are increasingly contributing to the proportion of road traffic fatalities in Brazil, with elderly pedestrians at a particularly high risk and motorcycle fatalities on a rapid increase. Understanding the epidemiology of road traffic deaths in all road user categories is essential to allow for more specific targeting of intervention programs, thus potentially saving lives.

As part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program, in 2012, JH-IIRU published “Public Health Burden of Road Traffic Injuries: An Assessment from Ten Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” a special issue of Traffic Injury Prevention. This landmark publication includes 11 scientific papers jointly authored with 50 colleagues from JH-IIRU and their in-country collaborators that contribute much-needed new knowledge to the burgeoning issue of road traffic injuries in low- and middle- income countries.

You can access the full article along with the entire special issue here: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/gcpi20/13/sup1

To find out more about JH-IIRU and road safety, contact us at IIRU@JHSPH.edu