Global status report on road safety 2018
The Global status report on road safety 2018, launched by WHO in December 2018, highlights that the number of annual road traffic deaths has reached 1.35 million. Road traffic injuries are now the leading killer of people aged 5-29 years. The burden is disproportionately borne by pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, in particular those living in developing countries. The report suggests that the price paid for mobility is too high, especially because proven measures exist. These include strategies to address speed and drinking and driving, among other behaviours; safer infrastructure like dedicated lanes for cyclists and motorcyclists; improved vehicle standards such as those that mandate electronic stability control; and enhanced post-crash care. Drastic action is needed to put these measures in place to meet any future global target that might be set and save lives.
The following facts are an extract of the data referred to the Region of the Americas in the report.
Regional road traffic injury burden
- The Region of the Americas accounts for 11% of global road traffic deaths with nearly 155 000 deaths. It accounts for 13% of the total world population and 25% of the total number of registered vehicles.
- The Region of the Americas has the second lowest road traffic fatality rate among WHO regions with a rate of 15.6 per 100 000 population.
- Car occupants account for 34% of the road traffic deaths, motorcyclists account for 23%. Pedestrians represent 22% of the deaths while cyclists represent 3% and 18% of the deaths are from other categories or not specified.
Status of implementation of proven interventions
- Institutional management:
- 29 countries have a lead agency;
- 23 countries have road safety strategies, 23 countries have strategies that are funded and 18 have strategies with a fatality reduction target.
- Legislation and road user behavior:
- 9 countries have laws that meet best practice on 1 risk factor only, 7 countries have laws that meet best practice on 2 risk factors, 2 countries have laws that meet best practice on 3 risk factors, 3 countries have laws that meet best practice on 4 risk factors and no country has laws that meet best practice on 5 risk factors;
- 5 countries meet best practice criteria for speed laws;
- 8 countries meet best practice criteria for drink-driving laws;
- 7 countries meet best practice criteria for helmet laws;
- 19 countries meet best practice criteria for seat-belt laws; and
- 2 countries meet best practice criteria for child restraint laws.
- Safe roads:
- 18 countries require audits or star rating for new road infrastructure;
- 26 countries have design standards for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists;
- 12 countries currently undertake systematic assessments or star rating of existing roads;
- 11 countries invest into upgrading high risk locations; and
- 22 countries have policies and investment in urban public transport.
- Safe vehicles:
- 24 countries implement 0 or 1 safety standards, 6 countries implement 2 to 6 safety standards and no country implements 7-8 vehicle safety standards;
- 5 countries implement frontal impact standard;
- 3 countries implement electronic stability control; and
- No country implements pedestrian protection.
- Post-crash care:
- 18 countries have a national single emergency number;
- 8 countries have a trauma registry;
- 14 countries have a formal certification for prehospital providers; and
- 5 countries have conducted national assessment of emergency care systems.