Background/Purpose: Ambulance traffic accidents (ATAs) are the leading cause of occupation-related fatalities among emergency medical service (EMS) personnel. We aim to use the Taiwan national surveillance system to analyze the characteristics of ATAs and to assist EMS directors in developing policies governing ambulance operations. Methods: A retrospective, cross-sectional and largely descriptive study was conducted using Taiwan national traffic accidents surveillance data from January 1, 2011 to October 31, 2016. Results: Among the 1,627,217 traffic accidents during the study period, 715 ATAs caused 8 deaths within 24 h and 1844 injured patients. On average, there was one ATA for every 8598 ambulance runs. Compared to overall traffic accidents, ATAs were 1.7 times more likely to result in death and 1.9 times more likely to have injured patients. Among the 715 ATAs, 8 (1.1%) ATAs were fatal and 707 (98.9%) were nonfatal. All 8 fatalities were associated with motorcycles. The urban areas were significantly higher than the rural areas in the annual number of ATAs (14.2 ± 7.3 [7.0–26.7] versus 3.1 ± 1.9 [0.5–8.4], p = 0.013), the number of ATA-associated fatalities per year (0.2 ± 0.2 [0.0–0.7] versus 0.1 ± 0.1 [0.0–0.2], p = 0.022), and the annual number of injured patients (who needed urgent hospital visits) in ATAs (19.4 ± 7.3 [10.5–30.9] versus 5.2 ± 3.8 [0.9–15.3], p < 0.001). Conclusion: The ATA-associated fatality rate in Taiwan was high, and all fatalities were associated with motorcycles. ATAs in a highly motorcycle-populated area may require further investigation. An ambulance traffic accident reporting system should be built to provide EMS policy guidance for ATA reduction and outcome improvements.
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