Road Deaths Spike Globally but Trend Down in Canada
January 02, 2019, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
T he World Health Organization (WHO) reported this month that deaths and injury from car accidents spiked over the last three years worldwide. The report "Global status report on road safety", found that 1.33 million people die every year from traffic crashed and are the leading cause of death among children and adults 15-29. 20-50 million people are annually injured in traffic crashes.
Traffic deaths are much higher in lower- and middle-income countries where 93% of the accidents occur even though they have only 59% of the population. This is tied in part to laxer enforcement or existence of laws regarding speeding and seatbelt use, overcrowding of vehicles, poor driving habits, overcrowding of roadways, and cultural acceptance of higher risk.
The WHO found that almost half of those who dies were pedestrians, cyclists and motor cycle riders. In lower- and middle-income countries they make up to 80% of deaths in accidents. WHO is calling for more to be done worldwide in terms of road safety, law creation and enforcement.
"The adoption and enforcement of traffic laws appear to be inadequate in many countries. The development and effective enforcement of legislation is critical in reducing drink-driving and excessive speed, and in increasing the use of helmets, seat-belts and child restraints. This survey showed that only 15% of countries have comprehensive laws which address all five of these risk factors. Enforcement scores for all five risk factors is generally low, which suggests the enforcement of road safety laws needs to be improved. This requires political will and providing law enforcement agencies with sufficient human and financial resources to mount effective enforcement activities. Enforcement efforts must be well-publicized, sustainable, and implemented by the use of appropriate measures and penalties for infringement."
The report suggests that the price paid (deaths and injuries) for mobility is too high, especially because proven measures exist to reduce the rate of mortality and injury. These measures 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.
Canada has a strong tradition of road safety and enforcement of legislation. 74% of road fatalities were a result of crashes with 4-wheel vehicles. This is much higher than in lower to medium income countries where the weather allows for greater use of motor cycles and three-wheel vehicles. The report looked at the data from 2006 and found that in that year 2,889 people were killed on the roads and almost 200,000 were injured according to the police data. Even in then our rates of death and injury were tracking down. Transport Canada data shows that there were 1000 fewer deaths (33% decrease) and 30,000 fewer injured than in 2006.
|Posted under Accident Benefit News, Automobile Accident Benefits, Car Accidents
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