Road death challenge

Click to enlarge

Every year about 1.2 million people die in crashes on the world’s roads and many millions are seriously injured. This heavy toll comes despite decades of efforts to improve traffic safety. 

Not that the trend is all bleak. The number of road fatalities in 32 IRTAD (International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group) countries decreased by 42% between 2000 and 2014, an impressive achievement for a relatively short period. Many countries saw reductions of over 50%, and some achieved reductions of up to 70%. However, in 2015 the number of road deaths increased in at least 19 countries.

Data for some countries point to high rates, up to 26 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in South Africa. The IRTAD countries with the lowest road fatality rates are all located in Europe. In 2014, five countries–Iceland, Sweden, the UK, Norway and Switzerland– recorded less than three fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants.

Reasons for this overall good performance include the implementation of systematic road safety strategies, addressing speeding and drink driving, better road infrastructure and safer vehicles, and better road trauma management. Moreover, the economic downturn, which hit many countries over the past decade, may have contributed thanks to fewer trips.

But while car crash fatalities have fallen, fatalities among pedestrians, cyclists and people over 65 years old have not fallen and have even risen in some cases. In France, moped riders and motorcyclists account for almost a quarter of total fatalities, for instance. Drink driving, speeding and not wearing seat belts or helmets remain leading causes of serious and fatal injuries.

Visit www.itf-oecd.org/IRTAD

©OECD Observer No 307 Q3 2016




Economic data

GDP growth: +0.7% Q2 2017 year-on-year
Consumer price inflation: 2.3% Sept 2017 annual
Trade: +1.4% exp, +1.7% imp, Q2 2017
Unemployment: 5.7% Sept 2017
Last update: 14 Nov 2017

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • Papers show “past coming back to haunt us”: OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria tells Sky News that the so-called "Paradise Papers" show a past coming back to haunt us, but one which is now being dismantled. Please watch the video.
  • The annual OECD Eurasia Week takes place in Almaty, Kazakhstan 23-25 October. Writing in The Astana Times, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría urges Eurasia countries to stay the course on openness and international integration, which has brought prosperity but also disillusionment, notably regarding inequality. The OECD is working with this key region, and Mr Gurría urges Eurasia to focus on human capital and innovation to enhance productivity and people’s well-being. Read more.
  • When someone asks me to describe an ideal girl, in my head, she is a person who is physically and mentally independent, brave to speak her mind, treated with respect just like she treats others, and inspiring to herself and others. But I know that the reality is still so much different. By Alda, 18, on International Day of the Girl. Read more.
  • Globalisation’s many benefits have been unequally shared, and public policy has struggled to keep up with a rapidly-shifting world. The OECD is working alongside governments and international organisations to help improve and harness the gains while tackling the root causes of inequality, and ensuring a level playing field globally. Please watch.
  • Read some of the insightful remarks made at OECD Forum 2017, held on 6-7 June. OECD Forum kick-started events with a focus on inclusive growth, digitalisation, and trust, under the overall theme of Bridging Divides.
  • Checking out the job situation with the OECD scoreboard of labour market performances: do you want to know how your country compares with neighbours and competitors on income levels or employment?
  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • How do the largest community of British expats living in Spain feel about Brexit? Britons living in Orihuela Costa, Alicante give their views.
  • Brexit is taking up Europe's energy and focus, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Watch video.
  • OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann and former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King discuss the economic merits of a US border adjustment tax and the outlook for US economic growth.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at www.oecd.org/careers .

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2017