Relationship Between Air Pollution, Weather, Traffic, and Traffic-Related Mortality




Background: Air pollution and weather are just two of many environmental factors contributing to traffic accidents (RTA). Objectives: This study assessed the effects of these factors on traffic accidents and related mortalities in Ahvaz, Iran. Methods: In this ecological study, data about RTA, traffic-relatedmortalities, air pollution (including NO, CO, NO2, NOx PM10, SO2, and O3 rates) and climate data from March 2008 until March 2015 was acquired from the Khuzestan State Police Force, the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Meteorological Department. Statistical analysis was performed with STATA 12 through both crude and adjusted negative binomial regression methods. Results: There was a significant positive correlation between increase in the monthly average temperature, the number of rainy days, and the number of frost days with the number of RTA (P < 0.05). Increased monthly average relative humidity, evaporation, and number of sunny days were negatively correlated with the frequency of RTA (P < 0.05). We also observed an inverse significant correlation between monthly average relative humidity, evaporation, and wind speed with traffic accident mortality (P < 0.05). Some air pollutants were negatively associated with the incidence rate of RTA. Conclusions: It appears that some weather variables were significantly associated with increased RTA. However, increased levels of air pollutants were not associated with increased rates of RTA and/or related mortalities. Additional studies are recommended to explore this topic in more detail.