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10 minutes could prevent one-third of road deaths
Date:9/1/2010

Spanish researchers have calculated the probability of dying in road accidents on the basis of the time taken for the emergency services to arrive. Their conclusions are clear reducing the time between an accident taking place and the arrival of the emergency services from 25 to 15 minutes would cut the risk of death by one-third.

"The average wait after an accident until the emergency medical services arrive is 25 minutes in Spain", Roco Snchez-Mangas, co-author of the study and a researcher at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), tells SINC.

Her research, which has been published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, is based on information taken from the database records of the Directorate General for Traffic (DGT), which contains exhaustive information on accidents, and another DGT study from May 2004, containing information about the time at which accidents take place, the calls made to the emergency services and their arrival at the accident site. Combining these two databases provided a sample of 1,463 accidents that took place on Spanish roads.

The authors estimated the probability of death according to the time required for the emergency service response, and the particular characteristics of the victims and the accidents themselves. When other factors were taken into account, "a reduction in the wait from 25 to 15 minutes is associated with a decline of one-third in the death rate, both on motorways and highways, as well as on conventional roads", the authors claim.

The results also show that the relationship between the death rate and the time required for the emergency health services response is different on different kinds of roads. On conventional roads, an increasing relationship was observed in the first 25 to 30 minutes the death rate increased in line with the length of time spent waiting.

This increasing pattern can also be seen on motorways and highways, but in these
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Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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