Unseen Passage: Road Traffic Crashes

Each year nearly 1.2 million people die and millions of other are injured or disabled as a result of road traffic crashes. The vast majority (over 90%) of all road traffic deaths and injuries occur in low-income and middle-income countries.

In high-income countries, most of those killed or injured in road traffic crashes are drivers and passengers of four-wheeled vehicles. In low-income and middle-income countries, however, “vulnerable road users” – pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and users of public transportation – constitute a higher proportion of road users, and consequently make up a larger proportion of those injured or killed on the roads.

This report focuses on young road users, defined as those under 25 years of age. The document highlights the main risk factors for road traffic injuries, noting how many of these risks are elevated in youth. It stresses that successful prevention programmes can be put in place to protect young people, and presents examples of interventions from different geographic and cultural contexts that have been shown to be effective.

Children and young people under the age of 25 years account for over 30% of those killed and injured in road traffic crashes. Of the 383046 road traffic deaths that were recorded in this age group around the world, at least half were road users from the World Health Organization’s African and South-East Asia Regions. However, the highest rates of road traffic fatalities in the 0-25 year age range occur among road users in the African and the Eastern Mediterranean regions.

Road traffic injuries among those under 25 years rank as the eighth leading cause of death around the world. However, when analysed by five-year age groups the significance of road traffic injuries rises dramatically. Among 15-19 year-olds, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death, while among the 10-14 years and 20-24 years age groups they are the second leading cause of death.

Children under five years of age, and in particular infants under 1 year, being especially vulnerable to other diseases and conditions, have the lowest ranking for road traffic deaths.

Q. On the basis of your reading and understanding of the above passage, answer the following:

  1. Where does more than 90% of road traffic accidents and injuries occur?
  2. Are passengers of four-wheeled vehicles form the majority of those killed in road accidents in low and middle income countries ? (True/False)
  3. _______________ account for 30% of those killed and injured in road traffic crashes.
  4. Which age group is least affected by road accidents and injuries?
  5. Identify the word in para 2 which means ‘to be at risk’.
    1. disabled
    2. intervention
    3. vulnerable
    4. killed
  6. The highest rate of road traffic fatalities in the 0-25 year age range is in the:
    1. low and middle-income countries.
    2. African and the Eastern Mediterranean regions.
    3. high-income counties.
    4. African and South- East Asia Regions.
  7. Road accidents and injuries is the second leading cause of death in the age group of :
    1. 10-14
    2. 20-24
    3. both (1) and (2)
    4. 15-19
  8. Vulnerable road users’ are:
    1. young road users
    2. form a high proportion of road users in low and middle income families
    3. car drivers
    4. passengers of four-wheeled vehicle

Answers

  1. In low-income and middle-income countries
  2. False
  3. Children and young people under the age of 25 years.
  4. Children under five years of age.
  5. vulnerable
  6. African and the Eastern Mediterranean regions
  7. both (1) and (2)
  8. form a high proportion of road users in low and middle income families

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