WHO: Road mishaps kill 1.35M yearly

Road traffic accidents kill 1.35 million people every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

With the rise of fatalities, road traffic injuries are also the leading cause of death among children and young people aged five to 29.

Globally, pedestrians and cyclists account for 26 percent of road traffic deaths while 28 percent are motorcycle riders and passengers.

According to WHO, the risk of a road traffic death in low-income countries remains three times higher than in high-income countries, with rates highest in Africa (26.6 per 100,000 population) and lowest in Europe (9.3 per 100,000 population).

“Road traffic deaths and injuries are an unacceptable price to pay for mobility,” according to WHO director Etienne Krug.

“There is no excuse for inaction. This is a problem with proven solutions. Governments and their partners must demonstrate leadership and accelerate action to save lives by implementing what works,” Krug said.

WHO said that progress has been made in some settings because of strong leadership around legislation on key risks such as speeding, drinking and driving, and failing to use seat-belts, motorcycle helmets and child restraints; safer infrastructure like sidewalks and dedicated lanes for cyclists and motorcyclists; improved vehicle standards such as those that mandate electronic stability control and advanced braking; and enhanced post-crash care.

During the fifth UN Global Road Safety Week last May 6 to 12, thousands of road safety advocates across the globe highlighted  the need for more effective leadership for road safety.

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