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Each year road accidents kill 1.3 million people worldwide

12. May 2011. | 07:06

Source: MIA

The UN launches on Wednesday its "decade for action" on road safety to cut the 1.3 million deaths on the road each year.

The UN launches on Wednesday its "decade for action" on road safety to cut the 1.3 million deaths on the road each year.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), road traffic accidents kill more people around the world than malaria, and are the leading cause of death for young people aged five to 29 – especially in developing countries. Each year up to 50 million people are injured in traffic accidents, globally.

"Road traffic crashes are a public health and development crisis," says WHO director general Margaret Chan. "Every day, road traffic crashes claim nearly 3,500 lives and injure many thousands more. The vast majority of those affected are young people in developing countries."

The economic consequences are also significant: According to the WHO, car crashes cost the world more than $500bn each year. And the WHO warns that accidents on the road are also a leading cause of disability worldwide.

In advance of the summit on the millennium development goals (MDGs) in New York last September, campaigners argued that the figures on road deaths worldwide should serve as a "global wake-up call". But while traffic accidents are dramatic, road safety is not seen as the most pressing development issue. Through its decade for action, the UN aims to change that, hoping to aggressively mobilise interest and action around improving the world's roads. By 2020, the UN hopes to have reduced road deaths by 50%.


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09. May - 15. May 2011.