About 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people, aged 15–29 years. 90% of the world’s fatalities on the roads occur in low- and middle-income countries, even though these countries have approximately half of the world’s vehicles. Half of those dying on the world’s roads are “vulnerable road users”: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
In October 2005, the General Assembly adopted resolution 60/5, in which it underlined the importance for Member States to pay particular attention to road traffic injury prevention. In the resolution, the Assembly invited the regional commissions and WHO to organize jointly the first United Nations Global Road Safety Week and invited Member States and the international community, to recognize the third Sunday in November of every year as the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
The economic, social and health losses resulting from road traffic injuries are not inevitable. There is substantial evidence confirming that road traffic injuries can be prevented. Experience from around the world has identified that the creation of an adequately funded lead agency on road safety and an accurate assessment of a country’s road safety situation are important steps that need to be taken to effectively tackle road traffic injuries. A number of factors have been identified as increasing the risk of traffic-related injuries, including inappropriate and excess speed, non-use of seat belts and child restraints, drinking and driving, non-use of helmets by riders of motorized two-wheelers, poorly designed or insufficiently maintained road infrastructure and vehicles that are old, not well maintained or that lack safety features. Regulatory and other actions that address those risk factors have led to dramatic decreases in road crashes in many countries. The provision of emergency trauma care services has also been shown to be important in mitigating the negative impacts of road traffic crashes.
The Day has become an important tool in global efforts to reduce road casualties. It offers an opportunity for drawing attention to the scale of emotional and economic devastation caused by road crashes and for giving recognition to the suffering of road crash victims and the work of support and rescue services.
Source: un.org | who.int
In 2017 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims in USA falls on November 19.