Motor vehicle collisions among Aboriginal people and interventions for improving road safety: a narrative literature review

Author(s): Lavallire, Beaulieu,

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When measured against all causes of death, motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) account for a disproportionately large percentage of fatalities for the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) population, particularly among Native Americans. An analysis of 2015-2019 FARS data showed that compared to other racial groups, American Indian/Alaskan Native persons have a substantially higher per capita rate (100,000 population) of total traffic fatalities (145,6 s 58.1-General population, respectively). Similar results are found in Canada where rates of death and injury related to MVCs are twice as high among Aboriginal populations than the general Canadian population. However, little is known on which types of interventions and programs have been implemented to reduce the MVCs burden among Aboriginal communities.


The first objective is to document through a narrative literature review the different practices in place among Aboriginal communities of Canada (First Nations, Mtis, and Inuit) with regard to mobility and transportation. Secondly, we aim to build upon this review to draw a portrait of the continuum represented by driving, from the access to a driving license to the eventual cessation of driving among these communities in order to promote road safety.


Extensive literature searches were conducted, and the results are presented in a narrative review of the literature, in order to discuss the current and potential interventions to reduce the involvement in MVCs of Aboriginal communities. For this narrative review, searches were conducted on Pubmed, ISI Web of Knowledge, and Google Scholar as they encompass a wide array of scientific areas as well as the most relevant peer-reviewed publications using the following keywords: Indigenous [All Fields] AND ("automobile driving"[MeSH Terms] OR ("automobile"[All Fields] AND "driving"[All Fields]) OR "automobile driving"[All Fields] OR "driving"[All Fields]).


Out of 131 papers initially identified, only 5 were selected for the current review: 1 addressing access to driving and 4 related to the topics of driving under the influence. The literature was sorted into a summary of the general ideas and is presented for discussion. Based on the current review, there is no existing literature on the maintenance of driving privilege over time or on driving rehabilitation and access to specific interventions due to particular health conditions among these communities.


This review shed light on a major public health concern in regards to road safety. Priorities for future research should include examination of the social environment, more rigorous methods, and collaborative research in partnership with Aboriginal communities. Typically presented as the 5E of traffic safety (Engineering, Enforcement, Education, Empowerment, and Evaluation) as building blocks to improve road safety, the current work entails that Equity would constitute another pillar necessary to improve road safety for all.


This narrative review clearly highlights the necessity of putting at the forefront the effort in regards of improving road safety for all, and more specifically for Aboriginal communities of Canada who would benefit greatly from such interventions if designed appropriately with them.