Traffic Accident Injuries:
The Leading Killer of Youth: WHO
Road traffic injuries have become the leading killer of young people aged 15–29 years. Almost 1.3 million people die each year on the world's roads, making this the ninth leading cause of death globally, according to a report of WHO (World Health Organization).
The report further says, in addition to these deaths, road crashes cause between 20 million and 50 million non-fatal injuries every year. In many countries, emergency care and other support services for road traffic victims are inadequate. These avoidable injuries overload already stretched health services.
Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists collectively represent almost half of those killed on the world's roads. Most of the progress made in the last few decades has been towards protecting people in cars.
WHO has kicked off the first global Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020. Governments of 193 member countries are committing to take new steps to save lives on their roads. The Decade seeks to prevent road traffic deaths and injuries that may take the lives of 1.9 million people annually by 2020 if left unheeded.
The Global Plan outlines steps towards improving the safety of roads and vehicles; enhancing emergency services; and building up road safety management generally. It also calls for increased legislation and enforcement on using helmets, seat-belts and child restraints and avoiding drinking and driving and speeding. Today only 15% of countries have comprehensive laws which address all of these factors.
Pakistan has also introduced revolutionary steps in this regard; especially the traffic police introduced in different cities are ensuring that awareness is evoked in the public regarding road safety and obeying traffic rules. However, a lot remains to be done yet.