Worldwide Traffic Deaths Up

Drunk Driving Increases Traffic Fatalities Worldwide

April 12, 2004

A study by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank
finds that traffic fatalities, including those caused by alcohol, are a
serious world health problem that is often overlooked, the Washington
Post reported April 7.

One in every 50 deaths worldwide is associated with road accidents,
the study found, and traffic crashes are second only to childhood
infections and AIDS as a killer of people between the ages of 5 and

Each year, 1.2 million drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians
are killed in traffic crashes. By 2020, traffic deaths are expected to
increase by 80 percent as hundreds of millions of cars are added to the

“It is already huge, but if nothing happens it is expected to rise,”
said Etienne Krug, director of WHO’s department of injuries and violence

Among the recommendations in the 217-page report are measures for developing
countries, such as India, China, and southeast Asia. They include
stricter enforcement of drunk-driving laws, better road designs,
increased use of seatbelts, and improved design and inspection of

This article is published by Join Together – a
national resource for communities working to reduce substance abuse and
gunviolence based at the Boston University School of Public Health

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