Partnership working

Title: Social factors in road safety

Organisation: Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)
Date uploaded: 13th November 2012
Date published/launched: April 2012

The aim of this paper is to draw together some of the links between road safety and health inequalities by identifying some of the common social determinants.

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There is a significant body of evidence which shows how health is unequally
distributed through society, especially between socioeconomic groups where the
lower a personís social position, the more at risk they are of ill health. Reducing
inequalities in health by addressing some of the social factors that cause them has
become an explicit objective of many activities to improve health and reduce illness.

Action on reducing the social gradient of health is also a concern for the fields of road safety and injury prevention as a whole, given that there is a similar body of evidence showing how injury risk is unevenly distributed across society in a similar way to illness. Some research has shown that the difference in injury rates between the most affluent and most deprived groups has recently been increasing.

One of the outcome indicators to monitor the success of the recent Strategic
Framework for Road Safety (DfT 2011) is a comparison of the number of fatalities
and serious injuries between the 10% most and 10% least deprived areas. Social causes of injuries and the range of interventions to address them can be highly complex, and the process by which different social factors increase the risk of injury is sometimes unclear, even when there is good evidence that shows the increased risk.

The aim of this paper is to draw together some of the links between road safety and
health inequalities by identifying some of the common social determinants under two main objectives:

1. To review and compile information on the scale of injury inequality and the social factors that create the inequalities.

2. To produce evidence and recommendations that will assist RoSPA and other road safety organisations to tackle the social factors that cause injury inequalities.

A further objective is to help develop and strengthen the links between road safety
professionals and public health professionals by identifying common ground. It is
hoped that this will help to foster closer working.

For more information contact:
Duncan Vernon
T: 0121 248 2078

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