More research needed on American Indian, Alaskan Native driving deaths: report

February 8, 2012

Baltimore – Additional research should be conducted on motor vehicle deaths among American Indian and Alaskan Native populations – which have the highest motor vehicle death rates of any race or ethnic group in the United States – according to a study from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.

Researchers searched for peer-reviewed journal articles in the past 20 years addressing these populations in relation to motor vehicle deaths and only found 14 studies matching their criteria, according to the study abstract. Among the articles they found, rural road conditions and alcohol use were identified as key influences in these populations’ motor vehicle death rates, according to the study.

The researchers recommended policymakers create interventions addressing rural road conditions and individual behavior in the areas with the highest death rates. Additional studies should be conducted on safety interventions for pedestrians in areas with high percentages of these populations, according to a Johns Hopkins press release.

The study was published in the January issue of Epidemiologic Reviews.