Road accident deaths hit 1.35 million: WHO
Road accidents kill someone every 24 seconds, with a total of 1.35 million traffic deaths around the world each year, the World Health Organization said Friday, demanding global action.
The number of fatalities annually has swelled by around 100,000 in just three years, with road accidents now the leading killer of children and young people between the ages of five and 29.
“These deaths are an unacceptable price to pay for mobility,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
In its last report, based on data from 2013, the number of road traffic deaths was estimated at 1.25 million annually.
While many countries have stepped up efforts to improve the situation, many poorer nations are lagging way behind.
The death rate in Africa is particularly high, counting 26.6 annual traffic deaths for every 100,000 citizens, compared with 9.3 in Europe, where the death rate is the lowest.
Pedestrians and cyclists account for 26 percent of all traffic deaths, with the figure as high as 44 percent in Africa.
Motorcyclists and their passengers meanwhile account for 28 percent of all road deaths, but the figure soars to 43 percent in Southeast Asia, the report said.