Pedestrian mortality in Russia: a continuous decline over the last 25 years?
Using different data sources (HCoD, IRTAD, UNECE statistical database, police data), our research shows that the significant excess of pedestrian mortality over motor vehicle occupant mortality in 1988-1999 in Russia, according to RusFMD, is an abnormal phenomenon that most likely never occurred. Police data is preferable for assessing mortality levels by road user types in Russia. According to Russian police data, pedestrian mortality never exceeded motor vehicle occupant mortality. The steady decline of pedestrian mortality began in 2003, not in 1993, as vital statistics show. In 2008, pedestrian mortality for the first time reached the minimum level of the Soviet period. After significant fluctuations, motor vehicle occupant mortality dropped to the level of the early 1970s only in 2015-2017. The use of vital statistics is possible if it is necessary to differentiate road traffic mortality by sex, age, and type of settlements. Categorisation by road user types should be done with caution, using the following data sources: HCoD data from 1988 and RusFMD data from 1970 to 1988 and after 1999. It is suggested that difficulties in analysing long-term mortality by road user types based on vital statistics may occur in post-Soviet countries, where the Soviet abridged classification of causes of death (SC) was used. The prevalence of deaths coded by unspecified V-codes (V89) should also be considered.
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