Road traffic injuries – leading killer of people aged 5-29 years
The Global status report on road safety, launched by WHO in December 2018, highlights that the number of annual road traffic deaths has reached 1.35 million. Road traffic injuries are now the leading killer of people aged 5-29 years. The burden is disproportionately borne by pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, in particular those living in developing countries.
The report also indicates that progress to realize Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.6 – which calls for a 50% reduction in the number of road traffic deaths by 2020 – remains far from sufficient.
More than half of all road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Pedestrians, cyclists, and riders of motorized 2- and 3-wheelers and their passengers are collectively known as “vulnerable road users” and account for half of all road traffic deaths around the world. A higher proportion of vulnerable road users die in low-income countries than in high-income countries.
Since the adoption of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 60/5, the observance has spread to a growing number of countries on every continent.
The Day has become an important tool in global efforts to reduce road casualties. It offers an opportunity for drawing attention to the scale of emotional and economic devastation caused by road crashes and for giving recognition to the suffering of road crash victims and the work of support and rescue services.
UN General Assembly
A dedicated website was launched to make the Day more widely known and to link countries through sharing common objectives and the remembrance of people killed and injured in crashes.
The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020, officially proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in March 2010, seeks to save millions of lives by building road safety management capacity; improving the safety of road infrastructure; further developing the safety of vehicles; enhancing the behaviour of road users; and improving post-crash response.
Also, to highlight the plight of children on the world’s roads and generate action to better ensure their safety, the UN organizes the Global Road Safety Week.
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is commemorated on the third Sunday of November each year – to remember the many millions killed and injured on the world’s roads, together with their families, friends and many others who are also affected. It is also a Day on which we thank the emergency services and reflect on the tremendous burden and cost of this daily continuing disaster to families, communities and countries, and on ways to halt it. Road deaths and injuries are sudden, violent, traumatic events. Their impact is long-lasting, often permanent. Each year, millions of newly injured and bereaved people from every corner of the world are added to the countless millions who already suffer. The cumulative toll is truly tremendous.
Road traffic accidents kill an estimated 1.25 million people each year — 90 per cent of them in middle- and low-income countries. Such accidents are the leading cause of death among young people aged between 15 and 29. Almost half of all road traffic deaths are among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Expressing its concern at the continued increase, in particular in developing countries, in traffic fatalities and injuries worldwide the General Assembly invited Member States and the international community to recognize the third Sunday in November of every year as the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.