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15.11.2019

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

 On the third Sunday of November, people around the world can connect through local events for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. The events are designed to remember those who were killed or injured in car accidents, their families, and their communities. They also aim to help bring more awareness to the devastating impacts of road crashes and work on ways to reduce the number of crashes that occur every single day around the world.

 

 

Traffic Injuries and Deaths Facts:


According the WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018:

  • Around 50 million people are injured in car accidents each year
  • Close to 1.35 million people die as a result.
  • 54% of deaths consist of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists
  • Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children and young adults (5-14 and 15-29 age groups respectively)
  • Crashes are the 8th leading cause of death overall.

These numbers are unfortunately climbing, and it’s predicted that traffic crashes could move to the 5th leading cause of death by 2030 if drastic changes don’t happen.

 

Risk Factors for Traffic Accidents


The sad part is that most of the risk factors for traffic accidents can be eliminated or significantly reduced.

Some relate to the drivers’ behavior, such as:

  • impaired driving,
  • speeding,
  • failing to use seatbelts or child restraints,
  • using cell phones while driving and
  • failing to keep their vehicles roadworthy.

Speeding for example, increases the risk of a serious crash exponentially, with every 1% increase in speed leading to a 4% increase in the chance of being involved in a fatal crash.

As for drivers who are using a cell phone, they are 4 times more likely to be involved in a crash, and studies are showing that hands-free phones are not much safer than holding the phone. So regardless of whether you are using a hands-free phone, you are still distracted and have notably slower reaction times.

Other risk factors for crashes include deficient road infrastructures, or weather-related concerns.

 

How to Reduce Road Crashes


  • Raising awareness is the top way to work on reducing the number of road crashes worldwide, as it helps us understand what increases the likelihood of crashes and how they can be prevented
  • Enforcing traffic laws
  • Making the vehicles safer for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, and
  • Improving the roads that are deficient.

The biggest impact that can reduce road crashes, however, is encouraging more people to follow the driving laws and to ensure they’re driving as safely as possible.

And always remember that while motor insurance is compulsory in most countries, as it is not possible to eliminate the risk of accidents completely, it should not be an excuse for us to drive recklessly. For our safety, and the safety of others with us in the car or around us, we need to manage our behavior to reduce the risk factors that are within our control. 

 

 

 

 

 

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