The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the Global Status Report on Road Safety, 2015.
Each year, 1.25 million people die as a result of road traffic crashes/ incidents.
Road traffic crashes are the leading cause of death among those aged 15-29 years.
Target 3.6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to halve the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2020.
Although there has been a 4% increase in global population, and a 16% increase in motorization, the number of road traffic deaths-1.25 million- has plateaued since 2007. This is attributed to road safety efforts over the past 3 years.
Although low and middle-income countries account for only 54% of the world’s vehicles, they account for 90% of road traffic deaths.
The WHO African Region (26.6/ 100,000 population) has the highest road traffic death rate.
Globally, almost half (49%) of all road traffic deaths are among motorcyclists (23%), pedestrians (22%), and cyclists (4%). However, the likelihood of dying as a pedestrian, motorcyclist or cyclist varies with region.
If an adult pedestrian is hit by a car travelling at less than 50 km/h, the chance of dying is less than 20%. However, if the car is travelling at 80 km/h, the risk of dying is almost 60%.
Only 34 countries, representing 2.1 billion people, have drink-driving laws in line with best practice: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of less than or equal to 0.05 g/dl; with lower limits of less than or equal to 0.02 g/dl for young and novice drivers.
Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of death by almost 40%, and the risk of severe injury by almost 70%.
However, only 44 countries, representing 1.2 billion people, have helmet laws that are in line with best practice:
- apply to all drivers, passengers (including children), roads and engine types
- require the helmet to be fastened
- refer to a particular helmet standard
Wearing a seat-belt reduces the risk of fatality among drivers and front-seat passengers by 45–50%, and the risk of minor and serious injuries by 20–45% respectively.
Among rear-seat passengers, seatbelts reduce fatal and serious injuries by 25% and minor injuries by up to 75%.
Child restraints reduce the likelihood of fatalities as a result of a crash by approximately 90% among infants and between 54% and 80% among young children. Additionally, children are safer seated in the rear of a vehicle than in the front.
Vehicles sold in 80% countries fail to meet basic safety standards.
Link to the press release:
Link to infographic on road safety (English) [PDF]:
Link to the WHO fact sheet on Road traffic injuries (updated 15 October 2015):
Link to the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015:
Link to interactive map ‘Death on the Roads’ based on the report:
Link to the Summary document of the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 (English):
Link to Country Profiles (Road Safety Status) 2015: