Preventing road traffic crashes is a global priority. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals aim for a 50% reduction in road crash fatalities and injuries by 2020. Aligning with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week, the World Health Organization has released Managing Speed to raise awareness about the importance of speed management in road networks.
In support of Global Road Safety Week (May 8-14) we’ve compiled these ten fast facts about road crashes, speed, and injury from the Managing Speed report2:
- Globally, 1.25 million people die each year from road crashes.
- Along with the burden to people, road crashes are a significant economic burden. On average, countries spend 3% of their Gross Domestic Product on road crashes.
- 30% of road crashes in Australia resulting in fatality are attributable to speed.
- Higher speeds increase the distance required to stop, which increases the risk of road crash.
- If a road crash occurs, higher speeds increase injury severity and risk of death.
- Male drivers, younger drivers, and those with higher blood alcohol content are more likely to speed.
- Vehicle power, road layout, speed limits, traffic conditions, and law enforcement and sanctions influence driver speed.
- Road traffic crashes can be prevented.
- The safe system approach aims to reduce road traffic crashes by ensuring safe roads and roadsides, safe speeds, safe road users, and safe vehicles.
- Environmental interventions help to control speed. Examples include traffic calming features, such as roundabouts and speed bumps, and ensuring speed limits are appropriately matched to the road function.
For more information about the role of speed in road traffic crashes, and evidence-based approaches to managing speed, access the World Health Organisation report here.
For more information about how you can spread the message of #SlowDown and be involved in Road Safety Week visit https://www.unroadsafetyweek.org/en/home.
1. United Nations. Sustainable Development Goals [Internet]. 2015. Available from: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/
2. World Health Organization. Managing Speed [Internet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2017. Available from: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/254760/1/WHO-NMH-NVI-17.7-eng.pdf