Michael Loke, Flickr
Every six seconds, someone is killed or seriously injured in a traffic accident. Every day, 3,500 people are killed in car crashes.

That means traffic fatalities are a global epidemic on par with malaria and tuberculosis, according to a new report issued by the Campaign for Global Road Safety.

"The epidemic has reached crisis proportions," wrote Kevin Watkins, a Brookings Institute researcher who authored the report, and the problem is "set to worse over the years ahead."

There are 1.3 million annual global road deaths, and they are the No. 1 global cause of deaths of young people ages 10 to 24. Approximately 260,000 children die in car accidents annually, according to the World Health Organization.

Air pollution also kills an estimated 1.3 million people each year, according to the report, and 70 to 90 percent of fatal pollutants, such as carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide, originate from automotive traffic, the report says.

"There are no surprises or hidden magic bullets for tackling the road traffic injury crisis," Watkins writes. "Vehicles need to be separated from vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists."


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  • 489 Comments
      sahk3
      • 3 Years Ago
      Vehicles need to be separated from cell phones, ipads, laptops, deafening sound systems, ear phones, TVs and all the other gadgets that now distract drivers especially the young and "invincible"
      • 3 Years Ago
      You can make as many laws as you feel neccessary. The fact of the matter is that until cars drive themselves people are still going to do things while driving that is distracting and there is really nothing anyone will ever be able to do to prevent it. It sucks but thats just the way things go.
        mary
        • 3 Years Ago
        Inclined to agree with you. Except it sounds so fatalistic.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Best Place to Start ,,,Is to slow everyone down...SPEED KILLS,,!!!!!!!!!!
        elohssanasiloa
        • 3 Years Ago
        You can drive safely and fast too, speed is NOT the problem.......the problem is IDIOTS who are either TOO OLD, TOO YOUNG, TOO HIGH or DRUNK or TOO BUSY to drive and PAY ATTENTION!!!
      Stephen Reinhold
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very uninformative article. No explanation about the why, where and other info. The death toll is up in developing countries with high population densities where personal ownership and use of automobiles is just really beginning. The drivers are not properly trained, roads, traffic signals and signage that are out of date and in poor condition for the increase usage, pedestrian population not use to the increase in traffic and lack of law enforcement. In the countries that automobile usage has been the prime form of transportation for decades the death rates are down particularly in the United States that has its lowest death rate in decades.
        stormint
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Stephen Reinhold
        Steve - have you ever driven in Europe? Holy ****! The roads are about 3 feet wide and noplace to go except a tree line or a stone wall! Add to that the fact that those people are crazy and you bet there's a problem. The Autobahn and 200MPH is NOT the problem, anyone on that stretch knows what the hell they're doing, the problem is in the burbs and the number of idiots on scooters!
      • 3 Years Ago
      You can never stop traffic deaths, but as a former police officer who investigated traffic accidents, and with 12 years experience, after I returned to my roots as a truck driver, education about sharing the road with heavy trucks could be a start and reduce fatalities, and this could be introduced at the high school level, during drivers ed,,,,or anywhere,,, even private driving instuctors could do it. I have wanted to produce a curricullm for this for years and have did a great deal of research,, but so far have no investors willing to make the committment. I was naive in thinking that insurance companies would jump on board like fire ants coming out of a nest,,,, the reality of it is,,, all insurance companies work together,,, say here in Alabama,,, some idiot truck driver runs 100 mph down a hill and at the bottom,,, runs over a woman checking her mail,,,,,, goes to court,,, they settle,,,$58,000312.16. This is the insurance company, not the trucking company nor the driver. now the victorious insurance company has a client,,, who has an idiot driver who runs 100 mph off a hill,,,say in washington state,,,, runs over a woman whose checking her mail,,,, reckon what is going to be the max this insurance company will ask for,,,, and now we go to lawyers,,,, the more you get,,, the more they get. Now,,, how friendly is he with opposing team,,,,If they is a deal to offset this,,,, nevermind,,, it just goes on and on,,,
      homeimps
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wanted to add a PS to my earlier comment: Now that kids all have cellphones, if something isn't done soon to keep them off the roads until they're older, we are bound to see these terrible statistics get even worse in a hurry; how many people have to die before parents see the light. Don't wait for the laws to change; it may be too late for YOUR teenager by then.
      Bill
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, maybe these "Electric Cars ", will keep some of it down. Throw in texting, pretty hard to text on motorcycle. . But I can believe a lot of the article, heck, I see some ne killed most weeks, even on the small town roads I live in.Everyone is in a hurry,
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bad Bad story ends saying nothing
      gposner29
      • 3 Years Ago
      Keep yutes off the roads...confine them to trees.
      • 3 Years Ago
      my sons are 18 and 20...very responsible drivers but its a worry. My kids don't text, or eat while driving...but most other kids do and thats a problem...and its just not kids. My husband is the worst for eating and texting while driving....he knows better
      danafmc
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Cars are not built safe enough to handle, the passengers in a highway accident., Stop blaming the drivers!~ Age, contributes to the frequency but the responsibility should fall on the manufacturers and the government to enforce the production of cars that can be involved in an accident at legal speed limits and prevent people from perishing. When you drive a motorcycle, you accept the risk of death or injury at any speed, but the cars are tested by NHTSA only up to 45mph, while the National speed limit it 65, WHY? Stop the Global epidemic on highway deaths, demand from your Congressman that you want to live thru an accident on the highway, CARS have to be built to save lives, Ralph Nader was right, anyone interested in surviving these accidents, anyone lose someone they know to this travesty?. Visit the Government website NYTSA or other non profit groups such as saferautos.org. and SPEAK UP!!!!!
        kwikrdrvr
        • 3 Years Ago
        @danafmc
        Are you really that stupid? A motorcyle rider has to assume the risk, but an automobile driver must be protected? Is that so they can text, talk on their phones, eat and drink, program their GPS, etc.?
        uncommonsensesc
        • 3 Years Ago
        @danafmc
        You are a fool - it's better to keep one's mouth shut and only be thought a fool than to erase all doubts! The cars are just fine! It's when you put 80 year olds that can't see and have reflexes like a dead turtle that problems start! They turn in front of people, pull out in front of people, usually are driving huge land-yachts that are the size of small houses, then they accelerate up to 35 miles an hour while people behind them are locking up the brakes not to hit them! It's when you have 16 year olds that pay more attention to talking on cell phones and texting that there are problems! The young kids don't have a clue about vehicles, how to operate them - they don't even know what the lights on the dash mean (I know this because of my stepdaughter's foolishness), they don't have a clue how to react on wet roads, snowy conditions - they can't even drive in dry, sunny weather! With you being so mentally challenged, I don't think you should be driving either!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @danafmc
        Oh PULEEEZ.what nonsense. Speed and recklesness kills in the vast majority of cases. People need to take responsibility.....get real..
        QEKIM
        • 3 Years Ago
        @danafmc
        danafmc, you're full of ****. You've been watching too many cartoons like The Pink Panther and how he steps off a falling building right before it hit's the ground and he walks away.. Have you ever herd of G-Force & inertia? The solution is, paying attention and putting the cheese burgers/fries/I-Pads/cell phones/crack pipes, booze and makeup away when driving. Furthermore, Ralph Nader and all the lobbyists who pin the responsibility of safety on vehicle manufactures completely overlook the most obvious point of all--> STUPID INATTENTIVE DRIVERS. The ONLY way to make vehicles safe is to build them with 20 feet of crumple zone all the way around and take all the electronic gizmo's out.
        Bexarpaw
        • 3 Years Ago
        @danafmc
        That argument makes as much sense as guns kill people.........PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE, with cars and guns and drug and booze and greed and war!
      teebear817
      • 3 Years Ago
      I dispute the number one cause of death if its black teens. Then its gunfire.
        abcadams1
        • 3 Years Ago
        @teebear817
        If they are shot in the head, then it is brain injuries.
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