Background Road traffic injuries are the fifth leading cause of years of life lost, with pedestrians comprising 39% of all road deaths. International recognition of this public health issue has led to a reduction in road traffic deaths in many high-income countries. However data on non-motorised road users such as pedestrians is incomplete. Additionally, non-fatal injuries are poorly documented. The aim of this study was to identify the incidence of pedestrian traffic injury reported from high-income countries. Methods A systematic review of the literature was conducted using MEDLINE, Scopus, PubMed and the Cochrane library. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they reported the incidence of pedestrian injury in a defined population from a high-income country defined using the World Bank atlas method for the 2016 fiscal year. A meta-analysis was performed on the population incidence of pedestrian traffic injury by world region. Results Seventeen studies were identified from eight high-income countries that satisfied the inclusion criteria. The pooled incidence of PTI in the European region was 68.8 per 100,000 population (95%CI 50–87.7, p < 0.01) and 89.3 per 100,000 (95%CI 47.2–131.4, p < 0.01) in the American region. The incidence of pedestrian traffic injury varied from 20 per 100,000 in Victoria, Australia to 203 per 100,000 in New York City, United States of America. Pedestrian mortality ranged from 0.9 to 14 per 100,000 population. Wide variation in population size, location and demographics was observed between studies. Conclusions This review concluded a high burden of pedestrian trauma in HICs with individual reports reporting from rates of 20 to 203 per 100,000 population. Recommended interventions directed at reducing the burden of pedestrian trauma were not universally present in the reported high-income countries. Implementation of such safety strategies and demonstration of improvement in pedestrian trauma rates and outcomes present directions for further research.
- Injury prevention
- Road traffic injury