WHO: Road ac­ci­dents are lead­ing cause of death for chil­dren

Gulf Times - - EUROPE -

Chil­dren and young adults are more likely to die as a re­sult of a traf­fic ac­ci­dent than from any other cause, ac­cord­ing to a World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) re­port.

This high risk for the ages be­tween five and 29 sig­nals “a need for a shift in the cur­rent child and ado­les­cent health agenda which, to date, has largely ne­glected road safety,” the Geneva-based UN health agency said yes­ter­day.

Only 33 coun­tries have leg­is­la­tion on child re­straint sys­tems for cars that are in line with the WHO’s best-prac­tice cri­te­ria, in­clud­ing lim­its on age, weight or height.

Over­all, some 1.35mn peo­ple of all ages die ev­ery year in road ac­ci­dents, ac­cord­ing to the WHO’s lat­est global road safety re­port.

Although the an­nual to­tal has slightly in­creased since the year 2000, the rate of road deaths as a share of the pop­u­la­tion has fallen slightly.

Ac­cord­ing to the WHO, this is a re­sult of the in­creas­ing num­ber of coun­tries that im­ple­ment speed rules and al­co­hol lim­its, as well as laws on hel­mets, seat belts and child seats.

How­ever, progress has been un­even.

While the num­ber of traf­fic deaths has fallen in nearly 50 wealthy and mid­dle-in­come coun­tries since 2013, there is not a sin­gle low-in­come coun­try where the sit­u­a­tion has im­proved.

In Africa, the fa­tal­ity rate from road ac­ci­dents is 26.6 deaths per 100,000 in­hab­i­tants per year, nearly three times Europe’s rate of 9.3.

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