Trends of Motor Vehicle Crashes and Deaths in Kenya,1963-2008: A Growing Public Health Challenge
Japheths Ogendi, Wilson Odero,
Maseno University, School of Public Health and Community Development, Kisumu, Kenya
Photograph © Ogendi
Background: Road traffic crashes are increasingly becoming a major cause of morbidity, mortality and disability in Kenya. This study sought to document the
magnitude and trends of road traffic crashes, deaths and changes in some risk factors in Kenya between 1963 and 2008.
Methods: Data from the various government departments published in Central Bureau of Statistics, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and Population data for Kenya compiled by United Nations Population Division were accessed for the
period 1963 to 2008.
Results: Between the year 1963 and 2008, Kenya experienced increases in motor vehicle crashes (213.3%), road deaths (476.3%) and death rates per 100,000 population (30.6%), number of registered cars (966%), motorcycles (2072%) and motorcycle as a proportion of all registered vehicles (122%). Motorization level also rose by 152.1% during this period. Pedestrians were the leading category of
road users killed in traffic crashes (46%), followed by passengers (29%), pedal cyclists (12%) and drivers (11%).
Conclusion: Road traffic crashes, deaths and motor vehicles have considerably increased between 1963 and 2008 in Kenya. There is an urgent need to address this growing problem, including adoption of a systems approach since road safety is part of a complex transport, socioeconomic and environmental systems.
Key words: Deaths, Rates, Risk factors, Road traffic crashes, Kenya.