The World Health Organization today launched the ‘Global status report on road safety 2013’. This report, the second in a series, presents information from 182 countries, accounting for almost 99% of the world’s population, and will serve as the baseline for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.
The report analyzes to what extent countries are implementing a number of effective road safety measures using a standardized methodology that allows comparisons between countries to be made. The report looks at whether countries have comprehensive road safety laws on all five key risk factors: drinking and driving, speeding, and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints. In addition, it highlights the importance of issues such as vehicle safety standards, road infrastructure inspections, policies on walking and cycling, and aspects of pre-hospital care systems. It also indicates if countries have a national strategy which sets measurable targets to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads.
The report shows:
- In 2010, there were 1.24 million deaths worldwide from road traffic crashes, roughly the same number as in 2007.
- Only 28 countries, covering 7% of the world’s population, have comprehensive road safety laws on all five key risk factors (listed above).
- While 88 Member States were able to reduce the number of road traffic fatalities, that number increased in 87 countries.
- 59% of those who are killed in road traffic crashes are between the ages of 15 and 44 years, and 77% are male.
- Pedestrians and cyclists constitute 27% of all road deaths. In some countries this figure is higher than 75%.
There are positive signs. We can see that where risk factors are addressed effectively, lives are saved; yet there is still much work to be done to achieve the target of the Decade of Action for Road Safety: to prevent five million road crash deaths by 2020.
Through partnership, we can help to achieve this goal, and each of us, as road users, must play our part.