Car accidents aren’t only a serious safety concern for people in Michigan. The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning about the threat that traffic collisions pose to people around the world. At a global level, vehicle crashes are now the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 5 and 29. They are also the eighth most common cause of fatalities for people of all ages, taking more lives than tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. According to the WHO’s 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety, motor vehicle collisions took 1.35 million lives around the world in 2016.
That’s why the WHO has highlighted roadway safety as a major international public health concern deserving of serious attention. The United Nations set a goal to halve fatalities from traffic accidents between 2016 and 2020, but the report noted that this is unlikely to be achieved. However, it did say that while the number of roadway accident victims has escalated, the death rate has remained relatively stable in terms of the world population. That rate has remained at around 18 car crash deaths per 100,000 people for the past 15 years.
Like other global health issues, traffic fatalities disproportionately affect people in low-income countries. While these countries are home to only 1 percent of the world’s motor vehicles, they’re also home to 13 percent of the world’s traffic-related deaths. People in low-income countries are three times more likely to die in a crash than those in high-income countries.
Automobile accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries and life-changing disabilities. Many of these crashes are the result of negligent, dangerous or distracted driving. Those who have been injured by reckless drivers can work with personal injury lawyers to seek compensation for their damages.