Background: The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study provides estimates of deaths, years of life lost (YLL), years of life lived with
disability (YLD), and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) due to 249 causes of death, 315 diseases and injuries, and 79 behavioral,
environmental, occupational, and metabolic risk factors in 195 countries, territories, and regions by sex and 20 age categories in 195
countries and regions since 1990. In this study, we aimed to present the burden of road traffic injuries (RTIs) in Iran and 15 surrounding
countries in 1990–2016.
Methods: The standard Cause of Death Ensemble modeling (CODEm) is used to estimate deaths due to all causes of injury by age, sex,
country and year. A range of 27 causes is used for estimating non-fatal health outcomes based on inpatient and outpatient datasets
using DisMod-MR 2.0. Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) estimate quantify the total burden of years lost due to premature death or
disability and was computed by summing the fatal burden and non-fatal burden associated with a cause (i.e., YLL+YLD).
Results: In 2016, age-standardized transport injuries in Iran accounted for 35.6 (UI: 29.64–43.44) deaths per 100000 compared to 60.8
(UI: 51.04–72.49) in 1990. Transport injury became the fourth leading cause of death in Iran in 2016, up from the 5th leading cause
of death in 1990. The burden of RTIs was mainly caused by motor vehicles and motorcycles and mostly affected the economically
productive age groups (15–49), males and children, especially those at school age. Afghanistan with 59.14 deaths (52.09–66.8) and
UAE with 53.71 deaths (36.59–72.77) had the largest transport injury death rates per 100000. From 1990 to 2016, Iran had -2.06
annual percent change in transport death rates. The lowest annual percent change is reported for Turkmenistan at -3.43. While Pakistan,
UAE and Qatar had the highest annual percent change in transport injury. Across all countries, the observed-to-expected ratios for
transport injury death rates varied considerably in 2016.The UAE had the largest age-standardized ratios of observed-to-expected rate
(2.93), followed by Oman (2.39), Saudi Arabia (2.23), Afghanistan (2.04) and Iran (1.95).
Conclusions: RTIs continue to be a public health burden in Iran and its neighboring countries, even though, there is evidence for decline
in RTIs across all countries except Pakistan. The most frequent sub-causes of death and injury are the motor vehicle, motorcycle, and
pedestrian injuries. The most vulnerable road users are children and young adults.