The WHO Global status report on road safety 2015, reflecting information from 180 countries, provides the following highlights on road safety.
- Worldwide the total number of road traffic deaths has plateaued at 1.25 million per year, with the highest road traffic fatality rates in low-income countries.
- Road Traffic Deaths are the leading cause of death among young people aged 15 and 29 years, and estimated to be the ninth leading cause of death across all age groups.
- 90% of road traffic deaths occur in low and middle income countries. The CDC adds that some 25,000 of the deaths are among tourists and that nearly half of medical evacuations back to the United States are the result of a car crash. Noting that medical evacuations can cost upward of $100,000.
- Almost half of all deaths on the world’s roads are among those with the least protection – motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, although the proportion varies by region.
- In addition to deaths, up to 50 million people incur non-fatal injuries each year as a result of road traffic crashes. That is, for every person that dies in a road traffic accident there are at least 20 others that sustain non-fatal injuries. These injuries can have considerable impact on quality of life, and often carry significant economic cost.
Review Road Safety at your destination
- The Pulitzer Center Roads Kill map provides interactive information on how safe are the roads at your destination both as a driver and a pedestrian.
- Read about road safety in the U.S. Department of State country information sheet for your destination.
Road Safety as a Pedestrian
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides the following advice to stay safe as a pedestrian.
Road Safety as a Driver
- Follow UT Dallas policies and guidelines if driving abroad on University Travel.
- Read U.S. Department recommendations on Driving and Road Safety Abroad.
- Do Mindful Driving. Keep your eyes on the road. Keep your hands on the wheel. Keep your mind on driving. Distracted driving interferes with the visual, manual and cognitive abilities needed for driving. Distracted driving activities include things like using a cell phone, texting, eating, constantly turning to talk to a passenger, applying make-up, thinking about things that are upsetting, etc. Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction. In 2012, just in the United States, each day more than 9 people were killed and more than 1,153 people were injured in crashes that were reported to involve a distracted driver.
- Do Sober Driving. Avoid alcohol and other substances that impair driving abilities. Other substances include marijuana, drugs and any prescription or over the counter medicine that indicate visual, motor or cognitive impairing effects. Every day, just in the United States, 28 people die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 53 minutes.
- Do Rested Driving. Sleep well before driving. Avoid alcohol and other substances that cause drowsiness. Just in the U.S. it is estimated that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013. However, these numbers are underestimated and up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drowsy drivers.
- Use Seat Belts on every trip, no matter how short. Even when not required by law. Just in the U.S. a total of 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2014. Seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half.
The risk information in this post is retrieved from sources as listed in the post. It provides general guidance for UT Dallas travelers. Please note the published date of this post, and go to the direct sources listed in the post for the most up-to-date information. The information in this post may change without prior notice.