New global and country-level estimates suggest that routinely wearing helmets and seat belts, obeying speed limits, and avoiding driving drunk could save between 347,000 and 540,000 lives worldwide every year.
- The benefits of more motorcyclists wearing helmets would be the biggest in China, where 13,703 lives could be saved every year, followed by Brazil (5,802 lives), and India (5,683 lives), says the study published in The Lancet.
- Analysis of data from 74 studies in 185 countries estimates that targeting four key risk factors for road injuries and deaths (speeding, drink driving, and non-use of crash helmets and seat belts) could prevent between 25% and 40% of all fatal road injuries worldwide every year.
- The Lancet Series on road safety, published ahead of the first ever UN High-Level Meeting on Road Safety, calls for increased political and financial commitments, and for road safety to be included in mainstream development policies.
- It argues that this is essential to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the target to halve road traffic crash fatalities and injuries by 2030.
- Deaths on roads are a major problem in India. Each year road accidents kill about 150,000 people and injure another 450,000 in the country.
- The World Bank noted in a report this month that with only 1 per cent of the world’s vehicles, India accounts for almost 10 per cent of all crash related deaths.