The Role of Sustainable Transport in Traffic Safety
In a context of growing traffic fatalities and injuries worldwide (1.3 million killed and over 50 million injured annually)1 the United Nations have declared 2011 – 2020 the Decade of Action on Road Safety.2 The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that traffic accidents are on a path to becoming the fifth leading cause of premature mortality worldwide by 2030, due in large part to increases in motorization, primarily in emerging economies. 92% of road fatalities occur in low- and middle- income countries, which only have 53% of total registered vehicles in the world. In these countries, pedestrians and cyclists account for over a third of road traffic deaths; the majority of these countries do not have policies in place to protect these road users.3 Young adults aged 15 through 44 account for nearly 60% of all traffic fatalities, across the different regions of the world.4 This has important implications for economic development, since a fatal crash or even a severe injury crash for a young adult can result in significant economic loss for their families over a long period of time.
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