ROAD SAFETY

Global road accidents up as 54-million hurt, but deaths have decreased

In 2017, the latest year for which complete data is available, 54-million people were injured in crashes, leading to 1.2-million deaths

10 January 2020 - 10:40 By AFP Relaxnews
While the global likelihood of being killed in a car crash has decreased since 1990, in Central African Republic, Jamaica, Somalia, Swaziland and the United Arab Emirates the risk of death has increased.
While the global likelihood of being killed in a car crash has decreased since 1990, in Central African Republic, Jamaica, Somalia, Swaziland and the United Arab Emirates the risk of death has increased.
Image: AFP Relaxnews

Road accidents have become more frequent but less deadly over the past 30 years as developing nations transition to more stable economies, according to a global injury and death analysis released on January 9 2020.

In 2017, the latest year for which complete data is available, 54-million people were injured in crashes, leading to 1.2-million deaths, said the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which releases annual assessments of causes of death and injury.

It found  those most likely to be injured in collisions were men aged 25-29, and that accident rates among that demographic were twice as common as among women of the same age. 

While the global likelihood of being killed in a car crash has decreased since 1990, in five countries - Central African Republic (CAR), Jamaica, Somalia, Swaziland and the United Arab Emirates - the risk of death has increased.

Spencer James, senior author of the IHME study, said a number of factors, including vehicle and road safety, as well as proper enforcement of speeding, seatbelt and alcohol laws, contributed to the lower mortality rates.

"It's encouraging to find improvements globally in road injury mortality over the past three decades, though there is still considerable progress to be made since road injuries should be considered preventable," he said.

The global rate of road injuries for all age groups increased more than 15% between 1990 and 2017.

The probability of dying from a road injury is highest in Haiti (15.6% injured in collisions), CAR (10.4%) and El Salvador (7.3%), the IHME data showed.

China ranked the highest globally for the total number of road deaths in 2017, with more than 261,000. Per capita road deaths, however, were relatively low in China.

South Africa is listed 13th highest out of the 195 countries, with 28.2 road deaths per 100,000 population.

The data was published in the journal BMJ Injury Prevention.

ROAD INJURY DEATH RATES IN 195 COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES, 2017

Highest death rates:

  1. Central African Republic: 75.6 deaths per 100,000 people (all ages combined)
  2. Oman: 43.0
  3. Lesotho: 41.2
  4. Haiti: 37.9
  5. United Arab Emirates: 37.5
  6. Saudi Arabia: 35.0
  7. Swaziland: 33.0
  8. Tunisia: 32.1
  9. Yemen: 31.4
  10. Papua New Guinea: 30.7

* 13. South Africa: 28.2 

Lowest death rates:

  1. Singapore: 3.53 deaths per 100,000 people (all ages combined)
  2. Ireland: 3.86
  3. Sweden: 3.88
  4. Switzerland: 3.89
  5. Malta: 3.97
  6. United Kingdom: 4.02
  7. Norway: 4.09
  8. Iceland: 4.24
  9. Greenland: 4.28
  10. Andorra: 4.67

 


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