Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Death on the Roads

Cars are now the biggest killers of people aged 5-29 around the world. Those deaths are from traffic injuries alone and don't take into account fatalities caused by air pollution. According to the World Health Organization 1.35 million people were killed in road traffic accidents in 2016. A disproportionate amount of those deaths were in developing countries.

There are large regional differences in the rate of road traffic deaths around the world. Europe has the lowest rate of road traffic deaths with 9.3 deaths per 100,000 population. The Americas have the second lowest regional rate with 15.6 deaths per 100,000 population. Africa and South-East Asia have the worst record for road traffic deaths with 26.6 and 20.7 deaths per 100,000 population respectively.

You can explore the rates of road traffic deaths in countries around the world on WHO's Death on the Roads interactive map. Select a country on the map and you can view its road accident death rate, the total number of road traffic deaths, and information of the selected country's road safety laws and vehicle standards.

The United States has a traffic death rate of 12.4 per 100,000 population and compares very unfavorably to most other countries with similar economies (Canada for example has a rate of 5.8 per 100,000). One reason for this is that the United States doesn't meet any of the World Health Organization's criteria for good road safety laws. The WHO rates every country on whether it has good laws for Drink-driving, Speed, Helmets, Seat-belts and Child seats. The United States doesn't rate as having good laws for any one of these individual areas of road safety.

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