The statistics are sobering: more than one million deaths a year. By 2030, 3.6 million people could die of something largely preventable: traffic deaths.
According to a special report published in The Washington Post on Tuesday, poor countries account for 50 percent of the world’s road traffic but 90 percent of the traffic fatalities. Those most likely to be victims are poor, young and male. There are efforts to make road safety a priority, but often they lack the funding needed to make real change. As noted in the story:
In 2010, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for a “Decade of Action for Road Safety.” The goal is to stabilize and eventually reverse the upward trend in road fatalities, saving an estimated 5 million lives during the period. The World Bank and other regional development banks have made road safety a priority, but according to Irigoyen, donor funding lags “very far below” the $24 billion that has been pledged to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The report includes snapshots from countries where traffic deaths are almost a daily occurrence: Nigeria, Indonesia, Mali and Colombia.
This report was done in conjunction with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting part of an effort to bring stories from around the world about this neglected but easily preventable public-health crisis.