Traffic injury trends have changed with safety developments. To establish effective preventive measures against traffic fatalities, the factors influencing fatalities must be understood. The present study evaluated data from a national medical database to determine the changes in these factors over time, as this has not been previously investigated. This observational study retrospectively analysed data from the Japanese Trauma Data Bank. Vehicle passengers involved in collisions from 2004–2008 and 2016–2017 were included. Data were compared between the two study periods, and between fatal and non-fatal patients within each period. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the factors influencing fatalities. In 2016–2017, patients were older and had lower fatality rates. In 2004–2008, fatalities were more likely to involve older male front-seat passengers with low d-BP, BT, and GCS values, and high AIS of the neck and abdomen. However, in 2016–2017, fatalities were more likely to involve older males with low GCS, high AIS of the abdomen, and positive focused assessment with sonography for trauma results. Our study identified independent factors influencing vehicle passenger fatalities, which will likely continue to evolve with the aging of the population and changing manners of injury.
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