WHO: Road Injuries Leading Cause of Death for 15-29 Year Olds

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The Word Health Organization has come out with its 2009 Global Status Report On Road Safety ( PDF), which reveals that traffic-related injury is the leading cause of death for 15-29 year olds the world over. Road traffic is the second leading cause of death for 5-14 year olds, and the third leading cause for 30-44 year olds. After age 45, it drops to the 8th most common cause of death thanks to an increase in driving ability and other death risks. The study also finds that though high-income nations have far more vehicle registrations per capita than low- and middle-income nations their road traffic death rate is disproportionately low. Even more interesting is the lack of relationship between higher income levels and a higher proportion of non-driver (or so-called “vulnerable road users”) deaths. One might assume that more cars and more safety equipment keeps high-income-nation drivers safer than pedestrians, but it just isn’t so.

The WHO study concludes that each five percent increase in average speed increases the risk of an accident by ten percent and the chances of fatality by 20 percent. Statistically speaking, Eritrea is the least safe country to drive in with 48 road deaths per 100k citizens. Egypt and Libya logged 40 deaths per 100k or above. The United States saw only about 14 road deaths per 100k citizens, about the same as Azerbaijan, Turkey and Sri Lanka.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Mekkon Mekkon on Aug 20, 2009

    @Pch101: Agreed for sure - middle-aged drivers are likely the safest drivers on the road, but it ain't because of their mad skills. As you say, it's because of fewer risks taken, which doesn't necessarily equate to "an increase in driving ability." Or as a good friend of mine (also middle-aged) likes to say, when talking about safety and insurance rates: "It's because middle-aged people have forgotten that driving can be fun, but still have a few years before they forget how to drive." Also: "Anyone who drives on a public highway as if they’re competing at Le Mans is a menace to society who needs to be arrested. " Agreed 100%. How old is Baruth?

  • AJ AJ on Aug 20, 2009

    Cars?! I figured it would be guns, red meat, bad water, lack of food, AIDS, or even angry white males? ;)

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Aug 20, 2009

    Mekkon, I thikn Baruth is 37

  • Charly Charly on Aug 20, 2009

    @Pch101: American drove more than other countries in 2008, but they also did in 2003 so that can't be the explanation. Maybe the explanation is that roads themself are safer in Sweden.