Worldwide car killings
- Yet another article appearing today in the Ottawa Citizen - the
conclusion is interesting.
Here is the URL:
Traffic accidents threaten to become world's third-biggest killer,
Thursday, August 29, 2002
GENEVA (AP) - Traffic accidents are set to become one of the world's
biggest killers in the next two decades, with pedestrians making up
the largest number of victims, the leader of a UN-sponsored research
Such accidents are currently the ninth leading cause of death
globally, Dr. Adnan Hyder, a founding member of the Road Traffic
Injury Research Network, said Wednesday. The network is funded by the
World Health Organization. The most recent United Nations statistics
show that almost 1.2 million people were killed on the world's roads
in 1998, Hyder said.
In 1998 more than one million of the world's road accident victims
were in Africa, Asia, South and Central America and regions like the
former Soviet Union.
By 2020, road accidents will be the third leading cause of death,
behind heart disease and deaths linked to mental illness, Hyder said.
The WHO definition of deaths linked to mental illness includes
degenerative conditions like Alzheimer's disease, suicides by people
suffering from depression and alcohol abuse.
Governments - especially in poor countries - must find new ways to
reduce the carnage, he said. Most of the accidents occur in
developing countries where western-style traffic regulations are
largely ineffective because they are rarely enforced or because
people and vehicles have to share the same busy roads.
"Two-thirds of the people who die are pedestrians," Hyder told
reporters. "People who will never own a car in their life are at the
Most road safety studies are produced in rich countries and their
lessons may not be appropriate for the developing world, he said.
Clamping down on people who fail to wear a seat belt, for example,
can be much less effective in some countries than "separating the
space" so pedestrians and cyclists do not have to travel alongside
cars or buses, he said.
© Copyright 2002 The Canadian Press