Spot quiz: name the leading global causes of death.
The big ones are easy to name – heart diseases, respiratory diseases, malaria, HIV/AIDS etc – but coming in at number eight, road traffic injuries is perhaps less intuitive.
Today’s World Health Organisation report on road safety is a call for more legislation – noting that only 7 percent of the world’s population is covered by legislation covering all five major traffic risks identified by the WHO. In practice this means laws against speeding and driving while intoxicated and requiring motorcycle helmets, seat belts, and child restraints.
It is a dense report worth digesting in more detail, but for now here are the highlight statistics from the report (all graphics courtesy WHO):
1. Although middle income countries – those with a gross national income per capital between $1,006 to $ 12,275 – have only half of the world’s cars, they have 80 per cent of the world’s traffic deaths – and deaths there have been increasing.