This is a new study from our board member Donald Redelmeier et al, addressing COVID vaccine hesitancy. It found that persons who did not get their vaccination had a 72% increase in traffic risks. The theory is that those who neglect public health guidelines may also neglect traffic safety. The observed risk is larger than diabetes and second only to alcoholism and provides another argument to support COVID vaccination. The article’s title is “COVID Vaccine Hesitancy and Risk of a Traffic Crash“ and is published in The American Journal of Medicine and available in full text for free at https://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(22)00822-1/fulltext
The researchers Anna Carlsson, Chalmers Industrial Technology (Chalmers Industriteknik), Gothenburg and Jörgen Lundälv, University of Gothenburg and Umeå University, Sweden, are the authors behind a study regarding rollator related pedestrian single accidents and collision events in Sweden.
The rollator is a Swedish invention, invented by the Västerås Hospital social worker Aina Wifalk (1928-1983) in the early 1980s. The current study is based on data from 2,020 accidents involving 2,305 persons extracted from the Swedish Traffic Accident Data Acquisition (STRADA) database, the Swedish Transport Agency’s accident database on injuries and accidents within the road transport system. For consistency, a subset of data (N = 745) was analysed in order to investigate the development of accidents over a period of 10 years.
The results show that the number of rollator accidents in Sweden increased by approximately 80% during 2007–2016.
Women most exposed to accidents and injuries
Females dominate the injury statistics in single accidents, collisions, as well as fatal outcome, which may be due to exposure and/or differences in physical characteristics. Single accidents are much more common than collisions (n=1,668 and n=352, respectively) and the injury consequences are at least as serious. Data from the present study revealed that the frequency of minor injuries (ISS 1–3) is 4.3 times, moderate (ISS 4–8) 6.0 times and serious injuries (ISS 9–15) 8.9 times higher in single accidents than in collisions.
The two researchers suggest that future research should follow up on accident and injury statistics for accidents. Areas with the potential to reduce the risk of rollator accidents include improved rollator stability and design, appropriate user training programmes, adequate maintenance and service programmes and, above all, a functioning infrastructure for rollators. Injury registration at hospitals in Sweden is very important for traffic medicine research, and this study is a good example of how STRADA can be utilised in research.
The study has been published in the new scientific journal “Traffic Safety Research – An Interdisciplinary Journal (TSR)” founded in 2021 in collaboration between Lund University in Sweden, Technical University (TU) in Delft (Netherlands) and the international organisation International Co-operation on Theories and Concepts in Traffic Safety (ICTCT).
The study can be downloaded from the journal’s website:
For further information, please contact:
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Associate Professor in Social Work
Department of Social Work
University of Gothenburg
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+46 (0)76–172 4711
Associate Professor in Traffic Medicine
Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Unit of Surgery
+46 (0)76–172 4711
“ITMA President Emeritus Leonard Evans authors a short Editorial in Injury Prevention titled “Traffic safety lessons ignored in confronting Covid-19”. The editorial affirms that while USA road-traffic safety policy has been a catastrophic failure, it nonetheless provides lessons that were ignored in confronting the Covid-19 pandemic. The complete (631 word) text is at http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/cgi/rapidpdf/injuryprev-2021-044484?ijkey=0tAPt4vm4jsAVv6&keytype=ref “
ITMA board member Donald Redelmeier is the lead author of a new article titled “Pedestrian Deaths During the COVID-19 Pandemic” published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. The full article appears here https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/15598276211058378. The study suggests the COVID pandemic led to a 50-60% reduction in pedestrian activity, a 10-15% reduction in total vehicle miles traveled, and no sustained changes in pedestrian fatalities. The mismatch between mobility and mortality highlights the importance of individual psychology beyond structural factors and reductions in activity.
One of the members in the Swedish Traffic Medicine Society, former board member there, Jörgen Lundälv and his associate Anna Carlsson, has written an article about new research that might be of interest to ITMA members also. It deals with accidents and acute injuries in people who use electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters in the traffic environment:
Acute injuries resulting from accidents involving powered mobility devices (PMDs)—Development and outcomes of PMD-related accidents in Sweden
From our Chinese friends in the ITMA board, Prof. Wang (Immediate Past President) and Prof. Zhou (President Elect) there are news about the traffic medicine situation in China.
Their team have published a new book of INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC MEDICINE ( in Chinese) . It is helpful to improve the traffic medicine in China, they say.
There is also an article on The Road to Reducing Traffic Accidents in China that could help us all to know some work done on traffic safety in China. https://www.sciencemag.org/features/2020/07/road-reducing-traffic-accidents-china.