Using social media in Kenya to quantify road safety: an analysis of novel data

J. Austin Lee, Lyndsey Armes, Benjamin W. Wachira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Road traffic injuries are a large and growing cause of morbidity and mortality in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Africa. Systematic data collection for traffic incidents in Kenya is lacking and in many low- and middle-income countries available data sources are disparate or missing altogether. Many Kenyans use social media platforms, including Twitter; many road traffic incidents are publicly reported on the microblog platform. This study is a prospective cohort analysis of all tweets related to road traffic incidents in Kenya over a 24-month period (February 2019 to January 2021). Results: A substantial number of unique road incidents (3882) from across Kenya were recorded during the 24-month study period. The details available for each incident are widely variable, as reported and posted on Twitter. Particular times of day and days of the week had a higher incidence of reported road traffic incidents. A total of 2043 injuries and 1503 fatalities were recorded. Conclusions: Twitter and other digital social media platforms can provide a novel source for road traffic incident and injury data in a low- and middle-income country. The data collected allows for the potential identification of local and national trends and provides opportunities to advocate for improved roadways and health systems for the emergent care from road traffic incidents and associated traumatic injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Kenya
  • Road safety
  • Road traffic
  • Social media
  • Trauma
  • Twitter


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