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Road Crash Problem

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Road Crash Problem

The World Health Organisation and the World Bank jointly issued the World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention on the World Health Day 2004. The report’s publication signaled a growing concern in the global community about the scale of losses associated with growing motorization and a recognition that urgent measures need to be taken to sustainably reduce their economic and social losses. This report not only presents country data but projects future country losses worldwide based on a scenario of inaction. Currently, every year more than 1 million are killed and up to 50 million are maimed on the world’s roads. These deaths and injuries create an unacceptably high public health, economic and social development losses.

The World Report projects that global road fatalities will increase by more than 65% between 2000 and 2020 with trend varying across regions, if no systematic and concerted action is undertaken. Fatalities are also predicted to grow by 80% in low and middle income countries, but decrease by 30% in high-income countries. Road deaths and injuries are projected to be the third leading contributor by 2020 to the global burden of disease and injury.

The World Report highlights road safety as a social equity issue. Low and middle-income countries already bear about 90% of the current burden of road deaths and injuries and they will experience the greatest increase in causality rates over the coming decades. A large proportion of crash victims in these countries will continue to be more vulnerable such as pedestrians and cyclists. Road crashes have a disproportionate impact on the poor who experience limited access to post crash emergency care and face costs and loss of income that can push families deeper into poverty.

Some generalized estimates indicate that the economic cost of road deaths and injuries average about 1% of GNP for low-income countries and 1.5% GNP of middle-income countries. These costs could be significantly higher, especially if under representation of deaths and injuries in available statistics and social cost of pain and suffering were fully accounted for.