WHO predicts that by 2030, road traffic will claim 2.4 million lives a year and that road accidents will climb to fifth place in the list of most common causes of death. Within the active ages of 5-44 years, road traffic already today represents one of the three most common causes of death.
Growing prosperity is leading to more people on the roads and an increase in traffic, while road safety is declining. This is one important reason that road deaths are predicted to continue to rise from today's 1.3 million people a year – or more than 3,200 every day.
The high level of accident statistics implies that poor road safety is classified as a serious threat against public health. Both the UN and WHO have recently taken several initiatives to improve road safety, and it has been proposed that the UN designates 2011-2020 as the "Decade of Action for Road Safety".
The gravity of road accidents is directly linked to vehicle speed. Lower vehicle speeds are therefore an important way of reducing the number of traffic-related injuries and deaths. Studies show that the number of fatal accidents can be reduced by a third through speed limits being observed.
Sweden has formulated "Vision Zero" for its road safety project, which represents a picture of a future where people are not killed or permanently injured in traffic accidents. To achieve this goal, an approach with shared responsibility for safety between road-users and public authorities has been developed. Surveillance cameras have become an important tool in successfully reducing the number of serious road accidents.
Further information about road safety across the world is available at WHO´s website.
And further information about road safety in Sweden is available at Trafikverkets website.
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