The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 64/255 that proclaimed 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action for Road safety in March 2010. However, road safety continues to be a global challenge five years after the Decade was proclaimed. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) global status report on road safety published in 2013, approximately 1.24 million people die every year on the world’s roads, and another 20 to 50 million sustain non-fatal injuries as a result of road traffic crashes. The report estimates road traffic injuries to be the eighth leading cause of death globally, with an impact similar to that caused by many communicable diseases, such as malaria. They are the leading cause of death for young people aged 15–29 years, and as a result take a heavy toll on those entering their most productive years. Economically, road traffic injuries are estimated to cost low- and middle-income countries between 1–2 % of their gross national product, estimated at over US$ 100 billion a year.
Africa continues to have the most dangerous roads in the world, with the risk of death from road traffic injury being highest on the continent (24.1per 100 000 population), and lowest in Europe (10.3 per 100 000).Half of the world’s road traffic deaths occur among motorcyclists (23%), pedestrians (22%) and cyclists (5%) – i.e. “vulnerable road users” – with 31% of deaths among car occupants and the remaining 19% among unspecified road users. Young adults aged between 15 and 44years account for 59% of global road traffic deaths and more than three-quarters (77%) of all road traffic deaths occur among men. Read more