Annually, the lives of 1.19 million people are lost to car accidents

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Joined: Nov 2016

Measures are being taken to reduce the amount of injuries and deaths on roads

Road traffic crashes are the leading cause of death globally, with 1.19 million people killed on roadways, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). All over the world, the roads are shared by cars, buses, motorcycles, trucks, taxis, mopeds, pedestrians, animals and other travellers. 

Automobile dependency has many impacts on consumers, society, and the economy. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to move away from a car-dominated, high-carbon transport system, in order to decouple human beings from energy use and climate change emissions. Yearly, vehicles are involved in accidents that are responsible for countless deaths and injuries. Regardless of whether you’re at home or abroad, become familiar with the risks and take the necessary steps to protect your health and safety. 

The numbers slightly decrease, but car accidents remain the leading cause of death for the youth  

The WHO brings attention to the fact that road safety is a global issue, driving families into poverty as survivors struggle to address the long-term consequences of the events. more than a million people die on the world’s roads each year, and as many as 50 million experience non-fatal injuries, with many incurring a disability. Progress has been made over the last decade: the number of motor vehicle deaths has dropped by 5% since 2010, but traffic collisions remain the main killer of children and youth aged 5-29. Two-thirds of road traffic deaths happen among people of working age. 

Injuries can be prevented via public awareness and compliance with road traffic laws and safety rules, for example, kids wearing helmets, and slowing down when entering kid-filled places like residential areas or schools can go a long way toward improving road traffic safety. Designing infrastructure with the protection of pedestrians in mind, building smarter, safer roads and vehicles, and instilling appropriate behaviour and attitudes in road users will also help. For this to materialise, we need collaboration between actors and agencies within each country. In other words, it’s necessary to prompt partnerships between the public and private sectors to implement projects that help reduce deaths (and injuries) caused by traffic crashes. 

Risk factors of road traffic accidents associated with mortality 

The high rate of fatal car accidents could be reduced by eliminating the risks that can be developed. Factors like speeding, driving under the influence and other psychoactive substances, and the non-use of motorcycle helmets, seatbelts, and child restraints contribute to increased injuries and death. Let’s discuss them briefly, pointing out the relationships between them and traffic collisions.    

Driving at high speed 

An increase in speed is closely connected to the likelihood of a crash occurring because it reduces the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle and react to changing road conditions. Speeding endangers everyone on the road. It’s a type of aggressive behaviour; factors contributing to a rise in speeding include but aren’t limited to traffic, running late, anonymity, and disregard for others or the law. African countries don’t have strong legislation around speeding, so people are willing to take risks without thinking about the dangers that lie ahead. The risk of pedestrians being hit by cars rises swiftly even if they exercise reasonable care. The injuries sustained are often severe or fatal. 

Driving under the influence of alcohol and illicit drugs 

Driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated are criminal offences, not just traffic violations. Driving under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs is a deadly mistake that’s behind many serious injuries and fatalities worldwide. Regardless of the amount consumed, psychoactive substances impact vision, concentration, comprehension, planning, reaction time and the ability to monitor other vehicles, road signs and other objects on the road. 

Not wearing protective gear 

Some motorcyclists refuse to wear helmets due to the heavy weight, which can lead to neck pain, limit their movements, and make it harder to breathe. Wearing a helmet is the single most effective means of lowering the risk of fatal injuries, protecting against collision with large objects. Equally, being buckled up during a crash holds the driver in an ideal position to take evasive action, prevents ejection, and helps the body match the speed of the automobile. Most states require kids to ride in safety seats when in the vehicle. Failure to use a child safety seat doesn’t affect personal injury liability, but make sure to consult a guide on how to sue for compensation.  

Strategies and policies have been put in place by many countries to reduce road fatalities 

The good news is that road traffic crashes are preventable, so governments must take action immediately to address road safety in a holistic manner. The aim is to establish a safety culture and champion in road and work-related safety policies and approaches. Africa, which is especially affected by the catastrophe of traffic collisions, does its best to reduce the death toll and ensure vehicle safety. The initiative centres around regulating the export and import of vehicles, bringing in cars that have better impact on the environment, health and road safety. Individual-based interventions can be effective, too, as compared to other interventions. 

The World Health Organization co-operates with Member States and partners across sectors like transport, police, health and education, not to mention civil society organisations, to increase road safety and minimise and eventually eliminate crash trauma for all traffic participants. Road safety is one of the fields of intense cooperation with the African continent, addressing data collection, infrastructure safety, vehicle safety and the safety of road users. 


To sum up, traffic accidents are a chief public health concern worldwide, and no country is immune to this scourge. Individuals are able to influence the events that happen to them by undertaking many measures, so drive at an appropriate speed, don’t drink alcohol or consume illicit drugs, and be patient and tolerant of other drivers’ mistakes. Safety is important, so don’t overlook the details that might make a difference in staying safe on the road. 


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