ROAD traffic injuries are a major and growing public health and development concern. If nothing is done to alter current tendencies, they will function as the third leading contributor to ill health in the whole world by the year 2020. The knowledge now exists to reverse these tendencies, provided that collective will is exploited for action.
For this reason on a World Health Day dedicated to road safety, we're sounding the alarm and calling on international agencies, governments, multinational corporations, along with other decision-makers to take action to enhance the safety of our roads.
Few among us haven't been touched by news of a loved one, a friend, a neighbour or a co-worker whose life has been altered permanently and drastically due to a road crash. To families and friends the awful news of a departure on the way is delivered over the duration of any day as many as 3,000 times.
For these families, beyond the shock and also the despair lies the economic reality of road-traffic injuries. Loss of income as a result of the death or disability of the expenses of medical care, a primary breadwinner or perhaps a funeral can drive a household into poverty. On a worldwide scale, it's believed that road traffic injuries cost economies US $518 billion every year -- or the equivalent of 1 to 2% of most nations' gross national product.
The shock as well as the despair are universal. The circumstances aren't. We are not all equally exposed to the danger of being associated with a crash. Ninety per cent of earth's road traffic deaths happen in nations whose citizens own 20% of the autos of the planet.