Sources: Economic Commission for Europe report: Statistics of Road Traffic Accidents in Europe and North America 2007.
List Notes: Data is for the year 2004. Please note that data is for North American and European countries only. Percentage involving alcohol is for accidents only.
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In the year 2002, an estimated 1.18 million people died from road traffic crashes worldwide, which is an average of 3242 deaths per day. Road traffic injuries accounted for 2.1% of all global deaths, making them the eleventh leading cause of global deaths. In 2009 More than 1.2 million people die on the world's roads each year and as many as 50 million are injured.
Low and middle income
countries have higher road traffic
fatality rates (21.5 and 19.5 per
100,000 population, respectively)
than high-income countries (10.3
per 100,000). Over 90% of the
worldâ€™s fatalities on the roads occur
in low-income and middle-income
countries, which have only 48%
of the worldâ€™s registered vehicles.
In higher-income countries, road traffic accidents are already among the top ten leading causes of disease burden as measured in DALYs (disability-adjusted life years). In less developed countries, road traffic accidents were the most significant cause of injuries, ranking eleventh among the most important causes of lost years of healthy life. According to a World Health Organization/World Bank report "The Global Burden of Disease", deaths from non-communicable diseases are expected to climb from 28.1 million a year in 1990 to 49.7 million by 2020 - an increase in absolute numbers of 77%. Traffic accidents are the main cause of this rise. Road traffic injuries are expected to take third place in the rank order of disease burden by the year 2020.
In the United States, if you are in the 5- to 24-year-old age group, you have a much greater chance of dying in a motor vehicle crash than dying from homicide, suicide, a fall, cancer, or heart disease. The death toll on U.S. highways makes driving the number one cause of death and injury for young people ages 5 to 27. Alcohol and other drugs create a serious highway safety problem among the general driving population in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drugs are used by approximately 10 to 22 percent of drivers involved in crashes, often in combination with alcohol.
Almost half of those who die in road traffic crashes are pedestrians cyclists or users of moterized two wheeled vehicles - collectively known as "vulnerable road users" - this proportion is higher in the poorer economies of the world.