A Road traffic accident (RTA) is a type of accident occurred at road when a Vehicle collides with another Vehicle, pedestrian, animal or geographical or architectural obstacle. The RTAs can result in injury, property damage and death. RTA is a cause of death for 1.2 million people worldwide each year, and injures about 4 times this number (WHO, 2004). In this study, a road traffic accident is defined as accident which took place on the road between two or more objects, one of which must be any kind of a moving Vehicle . Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) are increasing with rapid pace and presently these are one of the leading causes of death in developing countries.
The morbidity and mortality burden in developing countries is rising due to a combination of factors, including rapid motorization, poor road and traffic infrastructure as well as the behavior of road users . However, in technologically advanced countries injuries are reducing [3, 4]. Lack of protection, drivers, passengers, and the involved pedestrians are more likely to sustain injury or fatality at the impact of traffic collision .
Human factors, including road user behavior and incapacitation, are the most common factors, accounting for more than 85% of all traffic crashes among them, the two key known contributing factors are speeding, and drinking and driving. Other contributing factors are unsafe vehicles, unsafe road design, and the related lack of effective law enforcement and safety regulations .
Shankar et al. (1995) explored the frequency of occurrence of highway accidents on the basis of a multivariate analysis (by negative binomial model) of road way geometries (e.g. horizontal and vertical alignments), weather and other seasonal effects. The results of the analysis uncover important determinants of accident frequency.
Karlaftis and Golias (2002) studied the effects of road geometry and traffic volumes on rural roadway accident rates using Generalized linear modeling. The results showed that although the importance of isolated variables differs between two-lane and multilane roads, ‘geometric design’ variables and ‘pavement condition’ variables are the two most important factors affecting accident rates. Particularly all accident frequency increased with speed to the power of approximately 2.5.
The literature review shows that pedestrian crashes account for more than 40 percent of crashes in most of Africa countries. For example: pedestrians accounted for 55% of road traffic deaths in Mozambique between 1993 and 2000 . Pedestrians account for 46% of road traffic deaths in Ghana between 1994 and 1998 . Pedestrian and passenger crashes represented 80% of all road traffic deaths in Kenya in 1990 .
In a study of motorcycle collisions using hospital data from Nigeria, motor cyclist involved crashes are the second most common cause of road traffic injuries in Nigeria. From the victims more than half are passengers (39.5) and pedestrians (13.8) . Most of car accidents on pedestrian happened on male, with a three to one ratio to female fatalities. The death of the most productive member exerts a devastating impact to the families, pushing many into poverty with long lasting effect to their children and their community at large . This creates an overwhelming burden to the most vulnerable road users and their families, which tend to be poor and less educated.
RTA and injuries constitute major health, economic, and developmental challenges to developing countries, especially those in Africa. Africa has the highest fatality rate in relation to population (28.3 per 100,000 population after adjusting for underreporting), which is higher than motorized countries in the world, such as those in North America (12.1 to 16.2 per 100,000 population) .
Accidents and injuries due to RTAs is the second most common & accounted for 22.8% of all such incidents in Ethiopia. RTAs contributed to 43.8% of all fatalities next to other accidents and injuries. Among RTA causalities, 21.9% were drivers, 35.0% were passenger vehicle occupants and 36.0% were vulnerable road users including: motorcyclists (21.0%), pedestrians (12.1%) and cyclists (2.9%) .
Recent studies on RTA in Ethiopia have shown the escalation of the problem at the national level, at least 70 people die for every 10,000 vehicle accidents annually. Particularly Amhara region accounted for 27.3% of the total road traffic accident related deaths in Ethiopia during the year 2008/9, it takes the highest share among all regions. This indicates the need to examine the cause of accidents on the region .
Pedestrians and passengers of commercial vehicles are the most vulnerable in Ethiopia. Factors like poor road network, absence of knowledge on road traffic safety, mixed traffic flow system, poor legislation and failure of enforcement, poor conditions of vehicles, poor emergency medical services, and absence of traffic accident compulsory insurance law have been identified as key determinants of the problem .
Road traffic accident in Amara region indicates that freight vehicles (51%) and passenger vehicles (34.5) are the main causes of accidents. And interstate highways takes 54.8% of the accidents occurred. Mainly pedestrians passengers were accounted for the largest part of road traffic deaths victims in the urban areas. This accident is mainly due to drivers problem of failure to give priority to pedestrians, failure to stay on the right side of the road, speeding, failure to maintain distance between vehicles and failure to yield the right of way for other vehicles .
Recent report on Debre Markos town traffic accident indicated that there is an increase in accident and huge loss due to many factors. This enhances socio-economic instability in addition to physiological and physical damage. In response to this, road and transport authority office plan to work with other organizations, to have good behaved and well trained human resources, and based on information and studies developing awareness and work with the society, to achieve a gole of creating stable accident free transportation system. The approach is based on developing awareness of society on rules of road and transportation system, which helps the society to know and respect rules for the purpose of reducing car accident. In addition creating good behaved and well trained human resources is another input. It known that to reduce level and number of accident the influence of diver and related factors are unrepeatable hence much concern should have to give. However, the quality of drivers, cars, and road standard does not considered. As a result, this study attempts to investigate factors those contribute to road traffic accident involving human injuries, by considering literature suggested factors which are recorded by traffic police officers.