Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

East German Traffic Deaths Jumped Dramatically After Reunification; Researchers Cite Rapid Increase In Young, Unskilled Drivers

Date:
June 21, 1999
Source:
The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia
Summary:
Amid the many positive benefits of German reunification there was an unintended, tragic consequence in the former East Germany: auto fatalities jumped dramatically in the first two years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.In particular, deaths among car occupants aged 18 to 20 years increased elevenfold.

PHILADELPHIA -- Although German reunification had many positive political and economic benefits, there was an unintended, tragic consequence in the former East Germany: auto fatalities jumped dramatically in the first two years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. From 1989 to 1991, the overall death rate for car occupants in East Germany quadrupled, with an elevenfold increase in deaths among 18-to-20-year-olds. Rapid availability of cars, inexperienced drivers and inadequate roads contributed to the highway carnage, according to a collaborative study by researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. The study was published in the June 19 British Medical Journal.

Related Articles


"This study demonstrates that rapid economic change has a direct, profound effect on injury deaths," said Flaura K. Winston, M.D., Ph.D., of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, lead author of the article. "In the future," she continued, "injury prevention should be considered before major economic changes are implemented." Dr. Winston is the director of Trauma Link, an interdisciplinary center for pediatric trauma research at Children's Hospital.

When the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, residents of the former East Germany gained access overnight to Western cars that were previously unavailable. In the subsequent months, the currencies of the former East and West Germany were unified, enabling many more East Germans to purchase cars. Unfortunately, many new drivers were inexperienced. Two thousand more car occupants died in the former East Germany in 1991, compared to average annual figures for 1985 to 1989. Death rates in West Germany changed little before and after reunification.

According to German government statistics cited by the authors, the death rate for occupants of cars in East Germany rose from 4 persons per 100,000 in 1989 to 16 per 100,000 in 1991. During that period, the largest age-related increase in death rates occurred in 18 to 20-year-olds, jumping from 5 per 100,000 to 54 per 100,000. Death rates for 21 to 24-year-olds also climbed sharply, from 5 to 44 per 100,000. The numbers of cars and the total distances traveled both increased by approximately 40 percent in East Germany during that time span.

Many of the deaths might have been prevented with safety measures such as controls on excessive speed, use of seat belts, road improvements and special restrictions on young drivers, conclude the report's authors. "Knowledge gained from the German experience could save lives in other countries where the numbers of new drivers and motor vehicles are escalating rapidly," said Professor Susan P. Baker, of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, and co-author of the study.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the nation's first children's hospital, is a leader in patient care, education and research. This 373-bed multispecialty hospital provides comprehensive pediatric services to children from before birth through age 19. The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health is the oldest and largest school of public health in the world. Its mission is to improve health around the world and to prevent the spread of disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia. "East German Traffic Deaths Jumped Dramatically After Reunification; Researchers Cite Rapid Increase In Young, Unskilled Drivers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990616165539.htm>.
The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia. (1999, June 21). East German Traffic Deaths Jumped Dramatically After Reunification; Researchers Cite Rapid Increase In Young, Unskilled Drivers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990616165539.htm
The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia. "East German Traffic Deaths Jumped Dramatically After Reunification; Researchers Cite Rapid Increase In Young, Unskilled Drivers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990616165539.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 26, 2015) Governor Mike Pence declares the recent HIV outbreak in rural Indiana a "public health emergency" and authorizes a short-term needle-exchange program. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins