06:30 GMT27 May 2020
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    In its latest report on traffic-related deaths, the World Health Organization reported that traffic-related accidents are killing over one million people annually, with one death occurring every 24 seconds.

    The number of road traffic deaths continues to climb as well, reaching 1.35 million in 2016, the report states. The number of fatalities has increased by around 100,000 in just three years and traffic-related incidents are now the number one killer of people between the ages five and 29. 

    "These deaths are an unacceptable price to pay for mobility," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a recent statement, according to multiple reports.

    "There is no excuse for inaction. This is a problem with proven solutions," he stated, cited by Agence France-Presse.

    Even though the figure has increased over the last few years, traffic-related deaths have stabilized compared to the rising number of people and cars, largely due to speeding and seatbelt avoidance, as well as drinking and driving regulations, according to the report.

    "The rate of death relative to the size of the world's population has stabilized and declined relative to the number of motor vehicles in recent years," the report states.

    "This suggests that existing road safety efforts in some middle and high-income countries have mitigated the situation," WHO said.

    In addition, the risk of dying due to traffic is three times higher in low-income countries compared to high-income countries. 

    "Although only one percent of the world's motor vehicles are in low-income countries, 13 percent of deaths occur in those countries," the report states.

    Middle- and high-income countries have decreased the number of road traffic deaths between 2013-2016. There were reductions in the number of deaths in 48 middle and high-income countries, although no such reductions took place in low-income countries.

    The highest rates of road traffic deaths are in Africa (26.6 deaths per 100,000) and in Southeast Asia (20.7 deaths per 100,000) while the lowest rates are in the Americans (15.6 percent per 100,000 people) and Europe (9.3 deaths per 100,000 people).

    "More than half of all road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists," the report also noted.


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