Introduction: Over the past 60 years, the urbanization process has intensified around the world. It is estimated that each year 1.2 million people die due to traffic accidents (TA) in the world. Annually, about 37.000 people die and other 180.000 are hospitalized due to TA in Brazil. The frequency of deaths in Brazilian States and Capitals and how they occur, comply with different standards and specific locations. Thus, it becomes essential to know their distribution according to variables such as sex, age and injury type to guide the creation of interventional measures to begin to settle the TA and their victims.
Objective: To assess the deaths from traffic accidents occurred in the city of Maceio in the period of 2001 to 2010.
Method: It is a descritive study, which used secondary data from the Database of the Mortality Information System (SIM), available on the Department of Health of Maceió (SMS) in July 2011. The variables studied were deaths by type of accident, sex and age. Data were analyzed using EpiInfo version 3.5.3.
Results: In the period of 2001-2010, occurred 53,186 deaths, which 1,369 (2.57%) were due to traffic accidents. The type of fatal accident that occurred most frequently was involving pedestrians (48.88%), followed by accidents classified as ''other' transport accidents” (37.61%). Death in men is more often presented with 1122 (81.95%) cases. The deaths were more prevalent among persons of 15 to 49 years, with 924 cases (67.49%), followed by the deaths of those 50 years or more (23.59%).
Conclusion: This study showed that the deaths from traffic accidents (TA) in the city of Maceio, as well as in Brazil and elsewhere in the world are alarming and could be prevented. Thus, there is the need to create interventional measures, which must include improvements on the structural conditions of the roads, with more rigid enforcement of the laws of the traffic, and also realizing programs of education in the transit in a more frequent and proficient way