Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Global Killer No.1 - Road Accident

The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was announced this week by the UN General Assembly and supported by WHO. The WHO global status report on road safety makes for shocking reading. Over 3000 people die on the world's roads every day. Tens of millions of people are injured or disabled every year. Nearly 1.3 million people are killed each year. If trends continue unabated deaths will rise to an estimated 2.4 million a year by 2030.

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Around the world, approximately 1.3 million people die each year on the roads and between 20 and 30 million sustain non-fatal injuries according to the Global status report on road safety. The report is the first broad assessment of the road safety situation in 178 countries, using data drawn from a standardized survey. Over 90 percent of the deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries, which have only 48 percent of the world's registered vehicles.

It's predicted that by 2030, the amount of people who are killed in road traffic accidents will rise to fifth in the leading causes of death around the world. Currently it is in ninth place. Through the Decade, Member States with the support of the international community, commit to actions such as developing and enforcing legislation on key risk factors including limiting speed, reducing drink-driving and increasing the use of seatbelts, child restraints and motorcycle helmets.

Efforts will also be undertaken to improve emergency trauma care, upgrade road and vehicle safety standards, promote road safety education and enhance road safety management in general. The Global status report on road safety results clearly show that significantly more action is needed to make the world's roads safer and hopefully this decade of action will go a long way help change things.

Resource: WHO via NGHealthCare Europe

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