Chapter 2 - Methodology
The 42 countries specified under the TOR have been grouped into
the following sub-regions which have been used to facilitate the data analysis.
The Terms of Reference for the study request that the most authoritative
information by country on the type and location of road crashes taking place,
the category of road user involved and the costs of crashes be collected. In
order to do this the team have made full use of all sources of data available.
These include information obtained from the literature review where a few countries
presented conference papers etc based on analyses of national statistics. Other
sources of information come from colleagues at TRL who are currently working
in Africa and from international publications such as the International Road
Federation Annual Handbook (which presents basic statistics on number killed
and injured, licensed vehicles etc.).
In previous regional reviews undertaken by TRL and others of countries
in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America/Caribbean, a detailed questionnaire
was devised and sent to the various countries concerned. This requested information
both on basic crash and traffic statistics and also on the ways in which various
aspects of road safety are dealt with in each country.
About two years ago, in anticipation of a similar project being
undertaken in Africa, the UNECA, Addis Ababa, sent virtually the same questionnaire
to a number of African countries. About fifty copies were distributed and a
somewhat disappointing ten copies were returned and several of these were only
partially completed. Of the ten returned, two were for countries of North Africa
(Algeria and Morocco) and were not relevant to this particular study (of Sub-Saharan
Once the extent of the information available from the earlier
surveys was established, TRL designed a short 3-page version which was sent
to the 42 countries included in this study. Although sent by TRL, it was made
clear to recipients that the work was being done 'under the auspices of the
UNECA' who also advised on the names of key contacts in each country. Unfortunately
despite various chase-up faxes, letters and e-mails, very few (10%) completed
questionnaires were received.
TRL maintains a number of international databases of transport
and road-based information. Through these, users are able to access abstracts
of published reports, conference papers, books and journal articles from 1972
to date. The database also contains detailed information on research in progress
in the UK and also in many other countries. As the key source of information
on published material on road safety in African countries, the team undertook
a computer search of all the information held on the TRL databases.
The TRL Library also participates in the OECD International Road
Research Documentation scheme (IRRD) and has access to road and traffic information
from a wide range of countries. In addition, the library has access to other
external databases of published information which enabled to team to undertake
additional library searches on a range of topics, all relating to road safety
The team also made direct contact with selected African countries
and made use of its own staff currently (or recently) working in African countries
as part of their work on road safety in developing countries. Another important
source of information were the abstracts and papers produced as part of the
recent Third African Road Safety Congress (1997).
Following the Introduction, Scope of Work and Methodology, Section
3 provides a detailed review of the current situation examining fatality rate
and risk in countries for which data were available and, taking under-reporting
into account, attempts to estimate the total number of road deaths taking place
in the year 2000. It also presents an estimate of the number of road casualties
in Africa in the year 2000. The report then reviews recent trends in road deaths
and motorisation on a regional basis and how these inter-relate (Section 4).
Section 5 highlights some key characteristics of African road crashes and their
associated casualties. Section 6 examines accident costs, Section 7 presents
a summary of the literature review and Section 8 provides a summary of findings.
The literature review and the contacts database are included in the appendices.