Relationship between GDP per capita and traffic accidents in Brazilian municipalities in 2005, 2010 and 2015

Pedro Cisalpino Pinheiro Renato Azeredo Teixeira Antonio Luiz Pinho Ribeiro Deborah Carvalho Malta About the authors

ABSTRACT:

Objective:

The main objective of this paper was to analyze the relation between GDP and three variables linked to traffic accidents in Brazilian municipalities: traffic accident mortality, deaths per vehicle; and vehicles per inhabitant.

Methods:

2005, 2010 and 2015 traffic accident (TA) mortality rates were estimated using a three-year moving average and were standardized; then, we applied the empirical Bayes estimator (EBE). Fatality rates (deaths per vehicle) were also based on EBE. The variable vehicles per inhabitant considered the ratio between the fleet and the population at municipal level. For every studied year, we estimated linear regression models between GDP and the interest variables.

Results:

The variables distribution indicates that, between 2005 and 2015, GDP and vehicles per inhabitant kept the same rising relationship. Fatality rates show a decreasing association with GDP. The distribution of mortality by TA had an inverted U-shaped pattern. The model coefficients practically did not change for the vehicle per inhabitant. Estimated association between deaths per vehicle and GDP kept the same sign, but diminished between 2005 and 2015. Model coefficient sign changed in 2015 for TA mortality.

Conclusion:

Similar to what was observed in developed countries, the relation between mortality by traffic accidents and GDP changed in the analyzed period.

Keywords
Mortality; Accidents, traffic; Gross domestic product; Cities

RESUMO:

Objetivo:

O artigo pretende analisar a relação entre o produto interno bruto (PIB) per capita e três variáveis relacionadas aos acidentes de transporte (AT) nos municípios brasileiros: a mortalidade por AT, as mortes por veículo e o número de veículos por pessoa.

Métodos:

As taxas de mortalidade por AT foram estimadas (2005, 2010 e 2015) por meio do estimador bayesiano empírico (EBE). A taxa de mortalidade por veículo foi também estimada pelo EBE. O número de veículos por pessoa foi baseado na razão entre a frota de automóveis e a população residente. Para os três anos em análise, estimamos um modelo de regressão linear entre o PIB per capita municipal e as três variáveis de interesse.

Resultados:

A distribuição das variáveis mostra que a relação entre o PIB e o número de veículos por pessoa se manteve crescente ao longo dos anos e foi sempre negativa, considerando-se as mortes por veículo. A taxa de mortalidade por AT apresentou distribuição próxima a um U invertido. Os coeficientes do modelo de regressão praticamente não variaram para a relação entre PIB e os veículos por habitante. O sinal para o modelo com a taxa de mortalidade por veículo manteve-se o mesmo (negativo), mas apresentou diminuição. A taxa mortalidade por AT, por sua vez, apresentou inversão do sinal em 2015.

Conclusão:

De modo similar ao observado nos países desenvolvidos, parece ter havido inversão na relação entre mortalidade por AT e PIB nos municípios brasileiros entre 2005 e 2015.

Palavras-chave
Mortalidade; Acidentes de transporte; Produto interno bruto; Cidades

INTRODUCTION

The occurrence of deaths from road transport accidents is a consequence of both the number of vehicles per person and the fatality per vehicle11. Kopits E, Cropper M. Traffic fatalities and economic growth. Accid Anal Prev 2005; 37(1): 169-78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2004.04.006
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,22. van Beeck EF, Borsboom GJ, Mackenbach JP. Economic development and traffic accident mortality in the industrialized world, 1962-1990. Int J Epidemiol 2000; 29(3): 503-9. https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/29.3.503
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. It depends, at the same time, on the motorization rates (vehicles/person) and the mortality rate per vehicle (deaths/vehicle)11. Kopits E, Cropper M. Traffic fatalities and economic growth. Accid Anal Prev 2005; 37(1): 169-78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2004.04.006
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2004.04.00...
. In low-income levels, the relation between economic development and mortality by traffic accidents (TA) (deaths/people) is positive11. Kopits E, Cropper M. Traffic fatalities and economic growth. Accid Anal Prev 2005; 37(1): 169-78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2004.04.006
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44. Bishai D, Quresh A, James P, Ghaffar A. National road casualties and economic development. Health Econ 2006; 15(1): 65-81. https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1020
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.

In the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the transversal relationship between prosperity and the mortality rate by traffic accidents (TA) changed between 1960 and 199022. van Beeck EF, Borsboom GJ, Mackenbach JP. Economic development and traffic accident mortality in the industrialized world, 1962-1990. Int J Epidemiol 2000; 29(3): 503-9. https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/29.3.503
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. From 1970, this association became negative. The protective effect of income may be a consequence of adaptation mechanisms such as improve in infrastructure and medical assistance22. van Beeck EF, Borsboom GJ, Mackenbach JP. Economic development and traffic accident mortality in the industrialized world, 1962-1990. Int J Epidemiol 2000; 29(3): 503-9. https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/29.3.503
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. Noland55. Noland RB. Medical treatment and traffic fatality reductions in industrialized countries. Accid Anal Prev 2003; 35(6): 877-83. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0001-4575(02)00093-3
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points out the advancement of technology and medical treatments as one of the factors associated with the reduction in mortality by TA after the 1970s in developed countries. In the city of Monterrey (Mexico), the implementation of new points for ambulance exits decreased the average emergency response time66. Arreola-Risa C, Mock CN, Lojero-Wheatly L, Cruz O, Garcia C, Canavati-Ayub F, et al. Low-Cost Improvements in Prehospital Trauma Care in a Latin American City. J Trauma 2000; 48(1): 119-24. https://doi.org/10.1097/00005373-200001000-00020
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.

Bishai et al.44. Bishai D, Quresh A, James P, Ghaffar A. National road casualties and economic development. Health Econ 2006; 15(1): 65-81. https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1020
https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1020...
present, in addition to improving assistance to the injured, other lines of argument that intend to explain the difference between economic development and mortality by TA in developed and developing countries. In the first line, economic development is understood as a prerequisite for the implementation of institutional capacity to regulate the transportation system and hold offenders accountable. The second view deals with competitive risks. In other words, investment in developing countries would be concentrated on priorities (infectious diseases, nutritional risks, etc.), neglecting, due to limited resources, measures to contain transport risks. Another view concerns the composition of the fleet—in the highest levels of income, the proportion of vulnerable users would be lower.

The findings of Bishai et al.44. Bishai D, Quresh A, James P, Ghaffar A. National road casualties and economic development. Health Econ 2006; 15(1): 65-81. https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1020
https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1020...
indicate that only technological and medical advances would be able to decrease mortality rates. However, the authors reported that institutional advances, changes in the fleet composition and competitive risks influence the occurrence of accidents and injuries. As the relationship between the occurrence of accidents and injuries was not associated with the increase in gross domestic product (GDP), the authors understand that the main cause behind the lower mortality by TA in rich countries would be the greater capacity to provide care to the victims.

For Paulozzi et al.33. Paulozzi LJ, Ryan GW, Espitia-Hardeman VE, Xi Y. Economic development's effect on road transport-related mortality among different types of road users: A cross-sectional international study. Accid Anal Prev 2007; 39(3): 606-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2006.10.007
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2006.10.00...
, the main reason for the inversion of the relation between mortality by TA and income is the change in the composition of users of means of transportation. The initial growth and subsequent decline in mortality rates were a consequence of changes in the proportion of vulnerable users (motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians). The results by Paulozzi et al.33. Paulozzi LJ, Ryan GW, Espitia-Hardeman VE, Xi Y. Economic development's effect on road transport-related mortality among different types of road users: A cross-sectional international study. Accid Anal Prev 2007; 39(3): 606-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2006.10.007
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2006.10.00...
do not indicate, for higher levels of income, greater security in displacement.

The complexity of GDP as an explanatory variable relates to it being a proxy for other measures that are difficult to measure, such as urbanization, fleet composition, availability of assistance and quality of roads44. Bishai D, Quresh A, James P, Ghaffar A. National road casualties and economic development. Health Econ 2006; 15(1): 65-81. https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1020
https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1020...
. The models estimated by Bishai et al.44. Bishai D, Quresh A, James P, Ghaffar A. National road casualties and economic development. Health Econ 2006; 15(1): 65-81. https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1020
https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1020...
suggest that these unmeasured phenomena impact mortality by TA in rich and poor countries, and are related to the institutional capacity of the health and legal systems.

The short-term economic dynamics is also related to the mortality rate by TA77. Law TH, Noland RB, Evans AW. Factors associated with the relationship between motorcycle deaths and economic growth. Accid Anal Prev 2009; 41(2): 234-40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2008.11.005
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2008.11.00...
1010. Michas G, Micha R. Road traffic accidents in Greece: have we benefited from the financial crisis? J Epidemiol Community Health 2013; 67(10): 894. https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2013-202827
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. Law et al.1111. Law TH, Umar RS, Zulkaurnain S, Kulanthayan S. Impact of the effect of economic crisis and the targeted motorcycle safety programme on motorcycle-related accidents, injuries and fatalities in Malaysia. Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot 2005; 12(1): 9-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/17457300512331339166
https://doi.org/10.1080/1745730051233133...
, for example, when assessing the impact of a public policy aimed at reducing motorcycle accident mortality in Malaysia, reported that, in addition to the effects of the measures implemented, the economic slowdown also negatively impacted motorcycle mortality. The heating of the economy causes more people to circulate more frequently and, consequently, there is an increase in exposure to risk. The opposite is also true. Scuffham and Langley99. Scuffham PA, Langley JD. A model of traffic crashes in New Zealand. Accid Anal Prev 2002; 34(5): 673-87. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0001-4575(01)00067-7
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stated that, in the short term, the increase in unemployment and the decrease in GDP were associated with the reduction of TA with fatal victims in New Zealand. Brazil, in recent years, has shown a dynamic of economic growth (2003–2008; 2009–2014) and recession (2015 and 2016)1212. Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Social (BNDS). Perspectivas Depec 2018: O Crescimento da Economia Brasileira 2018-2023. Brasil: BNDS; 2018.. These dynamics are likely to have affected the circulation of people and, consequently, the mortality rate by TA as well.

For Wegman1313. Wegman FCM. Legislation, regulation and enforcement to improve road safety in developing countries. World Bank Seminar on Road Safety, Washington, D.C., 1992., road safety is achieved through measures capable of adapting the infrastructure, vehicles and regulation of the transport system to the characteristics of users. In addition to adequate infrastructure, the author argues that road safety depends on traffic rules, vehicle requirements, driver training and education, regulation and planning. Especially in developing countries, legislation and the regulatory system fail to achieve the proposed objectives1313. Wegman FCM. Legislation, regulation and enforcement to improve road safety in developing countries. World Bank Seminar on Road Safety, Washington, D.C., 1992..

In Brazil, the institutional capacity of health systems and transport regulation, in addition to the quality of roads, varies substantially between municipalities. Naturally, these differences influence the capacity for inspection and regulation and, consequently, the safety of cities. Despite being responsible for traffic management in their territory, according to the legislation, most municipalities are not prepared for this assignment1414. Bavoso NC. O Sistema nacional de trânsito e os municípios de pequeno porte [dissertação de mestrado]. Belo Horizonte: Escola de Engenharia da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG); 2014..

The portal of the National Traffic Department (Denatran)1515. Departamento Nacional de Trânsito (Denatran). Municipalização [Internet]. Brasília: Denatran; 2020 [acesso em 5 maio 2020]. Disponível em: https://www.gov.br/infraestrutura/pt-br/assuntos/transito/conteudo-denatran/municipalizacao-denatran
https://www.gov.br/infraestrutura/pt-br/...
shows that, in March 2020, only 1,695 (30.4%) municipalities had municipalized traffic management. According to França and Jacques1616. França LCR, Jacques MAP. Avaliação da eficácia da gestão do trânsito em nível municipal. Brasília: Universidade de Brasília; 2007., the main reasons for the non-integration of municipalities in the National Traffic System (NTS) are: lack of qualified manpower to implement and manage traffic in the municipality; lack of resources to equip and maintain the transit agency; lack of systematic assessment of the management of the bodies already integrated into the NTS and capable of indicating the effectiveness of the municipalization process to those who have not yet adhered to it.

The mortality rate due to TA in Brazil has had different movements in the last decades. Between 1990 and 2015, Ladeira et al.1717. Ladeira RM, Malta DC, Morais Neto OL, Montenegro MMS, Soares Filho AM, Vasconcelos CH, et al. Acidentes de transporte terrestre: estudo Carga Global de Doenças, Brasil e unidades federadas, 1990 e 2015. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2017; 20(Supl. 1): 157-70. https://doi.org/10.1590/1980-5497201700050013
https://doi.org/10.1590/1980-54972017000...
reported a reduction in mortality in Brazil. On the other hand, the period between 2000 and 2010 was marked by an increase in mortality by TA1818. Bachierri G, Barros AJD. Acidentes de trânsito no Brasil de 1998 a 2010: muitas mudanças e poucos resultados. Rev Saúde Pública 2011; 45(5): 949-63. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102011005000069
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2121. Carvalho CHR. Mortes por acidentes de transporte terrestre no Brasil: Análise dos sistemas de informação do Ministério da Saúde. Brasília: Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA); 2016. Texto para Discussão, No. 2212.. In recent years (2012 and 2013), the mortality rate by TA has decreased compared to 20102121. Carvalho CHR. Mortes por acidentes de transporte terrestre no Brasil: Análise dos sistemas de informação do Ministério da Saúde. Brasília: Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA); 2016. Texto para Discussão, No. 2212.. The regional dynamics, however, are quite different. Between 2000 and 2010, the States of the North and Northeast regions had the highest increase in mortality, mainly due to the increase in the number of deaths of motorcyclists1919. Morais Neto OL, Montenegro MMS, Monteiro RA, Siqueira Júnior JB, Silva MMA, Lima CM, et al. Mortalidade por Acidentes de Transporte Terrestre no Brasil na última década: tendência e aglomerados de risco. Ciên Saúde Coletiva 2012; 17(9): 2223-36. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000900002
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,2222. Martins ET, Boing AF, Peres MA. Mortalidade por acidentes de motocicleta no Brasil: análise de tendência temporal, 1996-2009. Rev Saúde Pública 2013; 47(5): 931-41. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-8910.2013047004227
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,2323. Pinheiro PC, Queiroz BL, Teixeira RA, Ribeiro ALP, Malta DC. A mortalidade feminina por acidentes de motocicleta nos municípios brasileiros, 2005, 2010 e 2015. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2020; 23(Supl. 1): E200010. https://doi.org/10.1590/1980-549720200010.supl.1
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.

The mortality rate of motorcyclists increased significantly, especially after 20001919. Morais Neto OL, Montenegro MMS, Monteiro RA, Siqueira Júnior JB, Silva MMA, Lima CM, et al. Mortalidade por Acidentes de Transporte Terrestre no Brasil na última década: tendência e aglomerados de risco. Ciên Saúde Coletiva 2012; 17(9): 2223-36. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000900002
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,2020. Chandran A, Sousa TRV, Guo Y, Bishai D, Pechansky F, Vida no Trânsito Evaluation Team. Road Traffic Deaths in Brazil: Rising Trends in Pedestrian and Motorcycle Occupant Deaths. Traffic Inj Prev 2012; 13(Supl. 1): 11-6. https://doi.org/10.1080/15389588.2011.633289
https://doi.org/10.1080/15389588.2011.63...
,2323. Pinheiro PC, Queiroz BL, Teixeira RA, Ribeiro ALP, Malta DC. A mortalidade feminina por acidentes de motocicleta nos municípios brasileiros, 2005, 2010 e 2015. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2020; 23(Supl. 1): E200010. https://doi.org/10.1590/1980-549720200010.supl.1
https://doi.org/10.1590/1980-54972020001...
. Unlike TA in general, Ladeira et al.1717. Ladeira RM, Malta DC, Morais Neto OL, Montenegro MMS, Soares Filho AM, Vasconcelos CH, et al. Acidentes de transporte terrestre: estudo Carga Global de Doenças, Brasil e unidades federadas, 1990 e 2015. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2017; 20(Supl. 1): 157-70. https://doi.org/10.1590/1980-5497201700050013
https://doi.org/10.1590/1980-54972017000...
pointed an increase in the mortality of motorcyclists between 1990 and 2015. Naturally, there is an important regional variation, with special emphasis on the Midwest, Northeast and North regions1919. Morais Neto OL, Montenegro MMS, Monteiro RA, Siqueira Júnior JB, Silva MMA, Lima CM, et al. Mortalidade por Acidentes de Transporte Terrestre no Brasil na última década: tendência e aglomerados de risco. Ciên Saúde Coletiva 2012; 17(9): 2223-36. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000900002
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-8123201200...
,2222. Martins ET, Boing AF, Peres MA. Mortalidade por acidentes de motocicleta no Brasil: análise de tendência temporal, 1996-2009. Rev Saúde Pública 2013; 47(5): 931-41. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-8910.2013047004227
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-8910.20130...
,2121. Carvalho CHR. Mortes por acidentes de transporte terrestre no Brasil: Análise dos sistemas de informação do Ministério da Saúde. Brasília: Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA); 2016. Texto para Discussão, No. 2212.,2424. Pinheiro PC, Queiroz BL. Análise espacial da mortalidade por acidentes de motocicleta nos municípios do Brasil. Ciên Saúde Coletiva 2020; 25(2): 683-92. https://doi.org/10.1590/1413-81232020252.14472018
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.

That being said, the objective of this paper is to analyze the association between the GDP of Brazilian municipalities, at three points in time (2005, 2010 and 2015), and the mortality rate by TA (deaths/people), with the number of vehicles per person (vehicles/people) and the mortality rate per vehicle (deaths/vehicles). Given the socioeconomic and institutional diversity of municipalities, as well as the different dynamics of income, the relationship between GDP and measures of interest are also expected to be different. The results can contribute to a better understanding of a phenomenon that annually kills and incapacitates thousands of Brazilians, and to a greater range of instruments for the prevention of these deaths.

METHODS

The number of deaths by TA in each municipality, per year, was collected from the Mortality Information System (SIM)2525. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Sistema de informação sobre mortalidade (SIM). Brasil: Ministério da Saúde; 2019.. The municipal population in 2005 and 2015 was based on estimates from the Interagency Health Information Network (Ripsa)2626. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Estimativa da população por sexo e idade, 2005 e 2015. Brasil: Ministério da Saúde; 2018., and in 2010, on the 2010 Census2727. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). Censo Demográfico de 2010. Brasil: IBGE; 2010.. Information about the municipal fleet, considering all types of vehicles, was collected from the database of Denatran2828. Departamento Nacional de Trânsito (Denatran). Frota de veículos [Internet]. Brasília: Denatran; 2019 [acessado 7 out. 2019]. Disponível em: http://www.denatran.gov.br/frota.htm
http://www.denatran.gov.br/frota.htm...
, having as reference the month of July of each year of interest. For the same three-year period (2005, 2010, 2015), the municipal GDP was collected from estimates of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE)2929. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). Sistema de contas nacionais: Brasil: ano de referência 2010. 3. ed. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE; 2016..

Deaths with ignored age and/or municipality were redistributed proportionally. Mortality rates due to TA were constructed considering, in the numerator, the three-year moving average around each base year (2004–2006; 2009–2011; 2014–2016). Then the rates were standardized by the direct method, using the Brazilian population in 2010 as standard. The last step was the smoothing of rates based on the empirical Bayesian estimator (EBE)3030. Marshall RJ. Mapping disease and mortality rates using empirical Bayes estimators. J R Stat Soc Ser C Appl Stat 1991; 40(2): 283-94., adopting the 15 closest municipalities in each year as the neighborhood structure. The use of a fixed number of neighbors ensures that each observation has a structure in the same size as the others. Bayesian smoothing is necessary due to random fluctuation and small numbers in the denominator, which can distort the risk estimates associated with events of interest3030. Marshall RJ. Mapping disease and mortality rates using empirical Bayes estimators. J R Stat Soc Ser C Appl Stat 1991; 40(2): 283-94.3232. Carvalho AXY, Silva GDM, Almeida Júnior GR, Albuquerque PHM. Taxas bayesianas para o mapeamento de homicídios nos municípios brasileiros. Cad Saúde Pública 2012; 28(7): 1249-62. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2012000700004
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X201200...
.

The Bayesian estimator takes the rates observed in small municipalities towards the average of their neighbors, in an inversely proportion as to the size of the population3030. Marshall RJ. Mapping disease and mortality rates using empirical Bayes estimators. J R Stat Soc Ser C Appl Stat 1991; 40(2): 283-94.3232. Carvalho AXY, Silva GDM, Almeida Júnior GR, Albuquerque PHM. Taxas bayesianas para o mapeamento de homicídios nos municípios brasileiros. Cad Saúde Pública 2012; 28(7): 1249-62. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2012000700004
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X201200...
. In other words, more populous municipalities will have a Bayesian estimator closer to the gross rates. On the other hand, in smaller municipalities, which are more subject to the effects of random fluctuation and small numbers in the denominator, EBE will be closer to the average rate of neighboring municipalities3030. Marshall RJ. Mapping disease and mortality rates using empirical Bayes estimators. J R Stat Soc Ser C Appl Stat 1991; 40(2): 283-94.3232. Carvalho AXY, Silva GDM, Almeida Júnior GR, Albuquerque PHM. Taxas bayesianas para o mapeamento de homicídios nos municípios brasileiros. Cad Saúde Pública 2012; 28(7): 1249-62. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2012000700004
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X201200...
. More in-depth discussions about this method to be found in a series of studies3030. Marshall RJ. Mapping disease and mortality rates using empirical Bayes estimators. J R Stat Soc Ser C Appl Stat 1991; 40(2): 283-94.3434. Cavalini LT, Leon ACMP. Correção de sub-registros de óbitos e proporção de internações por causas mal definidas. Rev Saúde Pública 2007; 41(1): 85-93. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102007000100012
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-8910200700...
.

The mortality rate per vehicle—the number of deaths divided by the size of the fleet—was also smoothed by EBE, with the same neighboring structure. In this case, the same numerator for TA mortality rate was used, as previously described. Naturally, the municipal fleet is also subject to the same problems of random fluctuation and small numbers in the denominator, which is why Bayesian smoothing was necessary. It is worth mentioning that, in 2005, 89 municipalities did not have information on fleet size in the Denatran database2626. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Estimativa da população por sexo e idade, 2005 e 2015. Brasil: Ministério da Saúde; 2018., with a large concentration in Alagoas (81).

Once TA mortality rates (deaths/population), the mortality rate per vehicle (deaths/vehicles) and the motorization rate (vehicles/population) for each year were estimated, they were used as dependent variables in models of linear regression by ordinary least squares (OLS), with GDP per capita as an explanatory variable. The idea was to analyze, at different points in time, the relationship between GDP and each of the rates. Some improbable values of mortality rate per vehicle, most likely due to problems in the quality of information about the fleet, were excluded from the analysis using observations above the 99.5 percentile as a cut-off point. Most of the excluded observations (82) were from 2005 and only two were from 2010. No values were excluded in the 2015 analysis.

RESULTS

In the three years analyzed, the relation between TA mortality rate and GDP was distributed in an inverted U-shape graph (Figure 1). In other words, apparently, for lower levels of GDP, there is a positive relation between income and TA mortality rate up to the middle of the distribution. From that point on, municipal income appears to be associated with lower mortality rates. However, in the three years, there was a concentration of lower income municipalities with high TA mortality rate. In 2010 and 2015, this concentration was higher than in the first year of the series. These municipalities, almost exclusively, are from the Northeast region. Figure 1 shows that higher-income municipalities, in general, are not among those with the highest TA mortality rates.

Figure 1
Mortality rates in traffic accidents (empirical Bayesian estimator – EBE) × GDP per capita, municipalities in Brazil, both sexes, 2005, 2010, 2015.

Another regional characteristic in Figure 1 is a concentration of municipalities in the Midwest region among the ones with the highest per capita income and, at the same time, with high mortality. This can be observed in all years, but with more clarity in 2015. At the top of the distribution, mainly from 2010, the municipalities with the highest mortality rates were, in most cases, in the North and Northeast regions.

Figure 2 shows that, in the three-year timeframe, the increase in income was associated with the increase in the number of vehicles per inhabitant. At the beginning of the distribution, rates grow at a fast pace and then start to grow at a less accentuated pace. Also of note are some higher income municipalities that are further away from the main concentration of municipalities, that is, not among those with the highest rate of motorization. In Figure 2, there is no clarity as to a regional pattern of the relation between GDP and the number of vehicles per inhabitant. There were no major changes in the pattern of the relation between GDP and the motorization rate between 2005 and 2015.

Figure 2
Ratio vehicle per person × GDP per capita, municipalities in Brazil, 2005, 2010, 2015.

The analysis of the mortality rate per vehicle and the municipal income per capita shows a clear decreasing relation throughout the period (Figure 3). In all three years, higher levels of income are associated with a lower mortality rate per vehicle. Figure 3 suggests an improvement in the quality of information about the fleet over time, since the number of extreme values in 2015 is less than that observed in 2005 and in 2010.

Figure 3
Bayesian mortality rate per vehicle (deaths/vehicles) × GDP per capita, municipalities in Brazil, both sexes, 2005, 2010, 2015.

Figure 3 also shows an important concentration of municipalities in the Northeast and North regions among those with the highest mortality rate per vehicle and with the lowest income. As in Figure 2, over time, there are no signs of a change in the relation between GDP and the mortality rate per vehicle in Brazilian municipalities.

Table 1 lists, for each year, the estimated regression coefficients between GDP per capita and the three estimated rates (mortality, motorization, mortality per vehicle) as dependent variables. As Figures 2 and 3 already suggest, between 2005 and 2015, the increase in GDP was associated with a reduction in the mortality rate per vehicle and an increase in vehicles per person. Between 2005 and 2015, the estimated coefficient for the association between GDP and the number of vehicles per inhabitant little changed, indicating a positive association with statistical significance.

Table 1
Coeficientes de regressão (MQO) das três variáveis dependentes analisadas pelo PIB per capita municipal.

Considering the mortality rate per vehicle, the association with GDP remains negative and with statistical significance over time. However, there was a decrease in the magnitude of the coefficient. In each year, the model indicates a decrease in the protective effect on mortality rate per vehicle associated with increased income. It should be noted that there are clear signs of improvement in the quality of information about the fleet over the period, which may have influenced the estimates.

Regarding TA mortality rate, between 2005 and 2010, there was a decrease in the impact on mortality associated with increased income, but it remained positive. In other words, in 2005 and in 2010, the impact associated with the increase in municipal GDP per capita was an increase in the TA mortality rate. In 2015, however, there was an inversion in this relation. The estimated model points to a negative association. Thus, in 2015, there appears to be a negative association between GDP and TA mortality rate.

DISCUSSION

The analysis of the relation between the TA mortality rate in Brazilian municipalities and GDP per capita show that, as in developed countries11. Kopits E, Cropper M. Traffic fatalities and economic growth. Accid Anal Prev 2005; 37(1): 169-78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2004.04.006
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2004.04.00...
44. Bishai D, Quresh A, James P, Ghaffar A. National road casualties and economic development. Health Econ 2006; 15(1): 65-81. https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1020
https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1020...
, there seems to have been an inversion in the transversal relation between these variables over time. In 2005, the coefficient was positive and more expressive than in 2010 (also positive), while in 2015, it becomes negative. In the case of vehicles per inhabitant and mortality per vehicle, the trend of the association was maintained over the years, although a decrease is seen in the intensity of the effect.

Analyzing the OECD countries, Van Beeck et al.22. van Beeck EF, Borsboom GJ, Mackenbach JP. Economic development and traffic accident mortality in the industrialized world, 1962-1990. Int J Epidemiol 2000; 29(3): 503-9. https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/29.3.503
https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/29.3.503...
stated the inversion of the association between TA mortality rate and GDP per capita, as well as the non-alteration in the relation considering the number of vehicles per person and deaths per vehicle. The inversion of the trend of association, according to the authors, could relate to the improvement in infrastructure and health care for the injured. In Brazil, Carvalho2121. Carvalho CHR. Mortes por acidentes de transporte terrestre no Brasil: Análise dos sistemas de informação do Ministério da Saúde. Brasília: Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA); 2016. Texto para Discussão, No. 2212. pointed out that hospital admissions for TA increased between 2007 and 2014, but, at the same time, hospital mortality decreased—that is, mortality after hospitalization by TA. In the author's view, this shows an improvement in the structure and assistance to the injured. This improvement might also be related to the negative association between GDP and TA mortality rate in 201522. van Beeck EF, Borsboom GJ, Mackenbach JP. Economic development and traffic accident mortality in the industrialized world, 1962-1990. Int J Epidemiol 2000; 29(3): 503-9. https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/29.3.503
https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/29.3.503...
,55. Noland RB. Medical treatment and traffic fatality reductions in industrialized countries. Accid Anal Prev 2003; 35(6): 877-83. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0001-4575(02)00093-3
https://doi.org/10.1016/s0001-4575(02)00...
,2121. Carvalho CHR. Mortes por acidentes de transporte terrestre no Brasil: Análise dos sistemas de informação do Ministério da Saúde. Brasília: Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA); 2016. Texto para Discussão, No. 2212..

It is also likely that the change in the composition of the fleet has influenced the dynamics of TA mortality rate33. Paulozzi LJ, Ryan GW, Espitia-Hardeman VE, Xi Y. Economic development's effect on road transport-related mortality among different types of road users: A cross-sectional international study. Accid Anal Prev 2007; 39(3): 606-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2006.10.007
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2006.10.00...
. Between 2005 and 2010, there was an expansion in the relative size of the motorcycle and scooter fleet from 18.6 to 25%. Between 2010 and 2015, the participation of motorcycles increased at a slower pace, rising to 26.5%2828. Departamento Nacional de Trânsito (Denatran). Frota de veículos [Internet]. Brasília: Denatran; 2019 [acessado 7 out. 2019]. Disponível em: http://www.denatran.gov.br/frota.htm
http://www.denatran.gov.br/frota.htm...
. However, this dynamic has regional differences. Motorcycles account for an important part of the fleet, mainly in the States of the North and Northeast regions. Maranhão and Piauí (2015) have the lowest GDP per capita and, at the same time, have motorcycles and scooters represent the most expressive portion of the vehicle fleet: 59.3 and 56.1%, respectively. The Federal District, on the other hand, has the highest GDP per capita and the smallest motorcycle fleet (11.4%). The increase in the proportion of vulnerable users is one of the possible explanations for the association between TA mortality rate and GDP33. Paulozzi LJ, Ryan GW, Espitia-Hardeman VE, Xi Y. Economic development's effect on road transport-related mortality among different types of road users: A cross-sectional international study. Accid Anal Prev 2007; 39(3): 606-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2006.10.007
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2006.10.00...
,44. Bishai D, Quresh A, James P, Ghaffar A. National road casualties and economic development. Health Econ 2006; 15(1): 65-81. https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1020
https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1020...
.

The negative association between GDP per capita and TA mortality rate identified in 2015 might also be related to the slowdown in economic activity in recent years. In 2015 and 2016, GDP in Brazil retracted1212. Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Social (BNDS). Perspectivas Depec 2018: O Crescimento da Economia Brasileira 2018-2023. Brasil: BNDS; 2018.. Periods of economic slowdown are associated with decrease in TA mortality in several countries77. Law TH, Noland RB, Evans AW. Factors associated with the relationship between motorcycle deaths and economic growth. Accid Anal Prev 2009; 41(2): 234-40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2008.11.005
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2008.11.00...
1010. Michas G, Micha R. Road traffic accidents in Greece: have we benefited from the financial crisis? J Epidemiol Community Health 2013; 67(10): 894. https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2013-202827
https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2013-202827...
. Naturally, there is regional variation in the indicators of economic activity that influence the measures analyzed.

Mortality differentials between municipalities are also related to the ability to manage and regulate the transportation system. Schmidt3535. Schmidt VV. Descentralização federativa e coordenação intergovernamental: um estudo sobre integração dos municípios brasileiros ao Sistema Nacional de Trânsito [tese de doutorado]. São Paulo: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas, Universidade de São Paulo; 2013. notes that, in Brazil, inspection and punishment stand out as a preponderant bias for putting traffic rules into practice, to the detriment of awareness and education. In the author's view, it undermines the identification by mayors of the accountability of the municipality in implementing traffic policies. The implementation of inspection measures imposes a series of difficulties on municipalities, such as the lack of a police force and a municipal registry of vehicles and drivers3535. Schmidt VV. Descentralização federativa e coordenação intergovernamental: um estudo sobre integração dos municípios brasileiros ao Sistema Nacional de Trânsito [tese de doutorado]. São Paulo: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas, Universidade de São Paulo; 2013.. In addition to inspection and punishment, the education of users and the quality of roads are related to the economic development and investment capacity of the municipalities and can be associated with the results. In addition, Schmidt3535. Schmidt VV. Descentralização federativa e coordenação intergovernamental: um estudo sobre integração dos municípios brasileiros ao Sistema Nacional de Trânsito [tese de doutorado]. São Paulo: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas, Universidade de São Paulo; 2013. points out that the mayors of small municipalities also bear the political burden of eventual penalties for traffic violations.

Souza et al.3636. Souza VR, Cavenaghi S, Alves JED, Magalhães MAFM. Análise espacial dos acidentes de trânsito com vítimas fatais: comparação entre o local de residência e de ocorrência do acidente no Rio de Janeiro. Rev Bras Estud Popul 2008; 25(2): 353-64. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-30982008000200010
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-3098200800...
highlight the trend of increasing mortality rates in small municipalities and a reduction in larger and wealthier municipalities, in the South and Southeast regions in recent years. This phenomenon could be explained by regulatory policies, better care for victims, greater investment in improving roads and road safety in these regions, since it all increases the inequity in the distribution of TAs across the country.

Different public policies have helped to reduce TA mortality rates, including the implementation of the Brazilian Traffic Code3737. Brasil. Lei nº 9.503, de 23 de setembro de 1997. Código de Trânsito Brasileiro. Diário Oficial da União 1997. in 1998, the Dry Law in 20083838. Brasil. Lei nº 11.705, de 19 de junho de 2008. Altera a Lei nº 9.503, de 23 de setembro de 1997, que institui o Código de Trânsito Brasileiro, e a Lei nº 9.294, de 15 de julho de 1996, que dispõe sobre as restrições ao uso e à propaganda de produtos fumígeros, bebidas alcoólicas, medicamentos, terapias e defensivos agrícolas, nos termos do § 4° do art. 220 da Constituição Federal, para inibir o consumo de bebida alcoólica por condutor de veículo automotor, e dá outras providências. Diário Oficial da União 2008., and the New Dray Law in 20123939. Brasil. Lei nº 12.760, de 20 de dezembro de 2012. Altera a Lei nº 9.503, de 23 de setembro de 1997, que institui o Código de Trânsito Brasileiro. Diário Oficial da União 2012., as well as regulatory measures related to vehicle safety4040. Wilhelm F, Garcia RL. Equipamentos de segurança veicular e a legislação brasileira. Rev Elet Cient UERGS 2018; 4(2): 283-98. https://doi.org/10.21674/2448-0479.42.283-298
https://doi.org/10.21674/2448-0479.42.28...
. The implementation of the Mobile Emergency Care Service (SAMU, acronym in Portuguese for “Serviço de Atendimento Móvel de Urgência”) in 2003, the expansion of Emergency Care Units and of emergency care in hospitals, the creation of violence prevention policies4141. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Portaria GM/MS nº 737, de 16/05/2001, publicada no DOU nº 96, Seção 1E de 18/05/2011, que institui a Política Nacional de Redução da Morbimortalidade por Acidentes e Violências. 2ᵃ ed. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2005. Série E, Legislação de Saúde., health promotion policies4242. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Portaria GM/MS nº 687, de 30/03/2006, que institui a Política Nacional de Promoção da Saúde. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2006. v. 7. Série Pactos pela Saúde 2006, Série B Textos Básicos de Saúde. and the Life in Traffic Project are initiatives that contributed to the reduction of traffic-related morbidity and mortality rates1919. Morais Neto OL, Montenegro MMS, Monteiro RA, Siqueira Júnior JB, Silva MMA, Lima CM, et al. Mortalidade por Acidentes de Transporte Terrestre no Brasil na última década: tendência e aglomerados de risco. Ciên Saúde Coletiva 2012; 17(9): 2223-36. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000900002
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-8123201200...
.

Among the study's limitations, the improvement of SIM data in recent years stands out, thus improving the capture of events and the reduction of ill-defined causes. This can affect trends, especially in the North and Northeast regions, which have had significant improvements in the registry of deaths and a reduction in records of ill-defined causes4343. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde. Departamento de Vigilância de Doenças e Agravos não Transmissíveis e Promoção da Saúde. Saúde Brasil 2018: uma análise de situação de saúde e das doenças e agravos crônicos: desafios e perspectivas. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2019..

Separating the short and long-term effects of the relation between GDP per capita and TA mortality in Brazil may be an interesting research agenda for the future. Other authors had already identified the recent reduction in TA mortality in some States of Brazil1919. Morais Neto OL, Montenegro MMS, Monteiro RA, Siqueira Júnior JB, Silva MMA, Lima CM, et al. Mortalidade por Acidentes de Transporte Terrestre no Brasil na última década: tendência e aglomerados de risco. Ciên Saúde Coletiva 2012; 17(9): 2223-36. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000900002
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-8123201200...
,2121. Carvalho CHR. Mortes por acidentes de transporte terrestre no Brasil: Análise dos sistemas de informação do Ministério da Saúde. Brasília: Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA); 2016. Texto para Discussão, No. 2212., as well as in female mortality due to motorcycle accidents, especially in the South and Southeast regions2323. Pinheiro PC, Queiroz BL, Teixeira RA, Ribeiro ALP, Malta DC. A mortalidade feminina por acidentes de motocicleta nos municípios brasileiros, 2005, 2010 e 2015. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2020; 23(Supl. 1): E200010. https://doi.org/10.1590/1980-549720200010.supl.1
https://doi.org/10.1590/1980-54972020001...
. It is likely that, in recent years, both effects have acted simultaneously. In addition, the use of other variables to control the effects of the association between the variables analyzed and TA mortality will help to better understand this relation.

  • Financial support: Small Areas Project, Health Surveillance Secretariat of the Brazilian Ministry of Health (TED 148-2018).

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    Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Portaria GM/MS nº 737, de 16/05/2001, publicada no DOU nº 96, Seção 1E de 18/05/2011, que institui a Política Nacional de Redução da Morbimortalidade por Acidentes e Violências. 2ᵃ ed. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2005. Série E, Legislação de Saúde.
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    Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Portaria GM/MS nº 687, de 30/03/2006, que institui a Política Nacional de Promoção da Saúde. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2006. v. 7. Série Pactos pela Saúde 2006, Série B Textos Básicos de Saúde.
  • 43
    Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde. Departamento de Vigilância de Doenças e Agravos não Transmissíveis e Promoção da Saúde. Saúde Brasil 2018: uma análise de situação de saúde e das doenças e agravos crônicos: desafios e perspectivas. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2019.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    16 Apr 2021
  • Date of issue
    2021

History

  • Received
    22 July 2020
  • Reviewed
    04 Dec 2020
  • Accepted
    11 Dec 2020
  • Preprint
    15 Dec 2020
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