Hit and Run

The Economist published an article last month which took a look at one of the serious causes of deaths among children and young people. The image of the WHO data shown below comes from the said article of the same title.

WHO Stats

Anyway the article takes a look at the 1.2 million road deaths annually apart from the 50 million left injured. Given the stark numbers, the WHO considers it an “epidemic. Also the said article also breaks down the economic issues arising from road deaths apart from human tragedy:

Aside from the human tragedy, there is a big economic impact. Acknowledging that certain statistics (on road injuries especially) should be treated with caution, the WHO nonetheless puts the cost at $518 billion globally per year. Lost productivity, hospital stays, crash investigations, higher insurance premiums and the like may have a combined cost of around 1-2% of GDP. The private sector suffers too. Some big oil companies lose more staff to road crashes than to industrial accidents.

And furthermore takes a look at the political moves to address it:

Yet the policy prescriptions are simple and proven: enforced speed limits, helmet laws for those on two wheels, good road design and more driving tests. All too often, however, the political will is weak, awareness low and money short. Nonetheless, countries that do take road safety more seriously have shown that improvement is possible. Increased helmet use has had a dramatic impact in South-East Asia. And in France a concerted government campaign to promote road safety several years ago cut casualties by about one-fifth within a year, although they have crept up since due to slacker enforcement.

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