By Faranak Bakhtiari

Road casualties drop in coronavirus era

November 21, 2021 - 17:25

TEHRAN – The number of traffic-related deaths last year (March 2020-March 2021) decreased by 15.2 percent compared to a year before, 13 percent of which is estimated to be caused by the pandemic.

Traffic restrictions and declining road trips are the most important factors that have reduced the road crash death toll by more than 3,000.

Statistics show that last year, the number of vehicles in the country, including cars, minibuses, buses, vans, trucks, and motorcycles, increased by 3.55 percent compared to a year before, amounting to 34.8 million vehicles, but the number of fatal accidents compared to the previous year, has decreased by 10.86 percent and has not exceeded 12,565.

According to the World Health Organization, every year the lives of approximately 1.3 million people are cut short as a result of a road traffic crash.

Last year, the number of people killed in road accidents has decreased by 21.4 percent compared to five years ago and according to Forensic Organization statistics, it has declined by 15.2 percent; while, this statistic has decreased by 15.2 and 12.3 percent respectively, compared to a year before (March 2019- March 2020).

According to the 2018 report of the World Health Organization, Iran has assigned a figure of 20.5 to the number of road casualties per 100,000 populations; In other words, out of every 100,000 Iranians, 20.5 people died as a result of road accidents.

Iran is ranked 113th out of 175 countries in terms of road death rate, which is even higher than the global average, and to reduce it, while continuing the current actions of those in charge, other appropriate measures should be taken by the responsible organizations.

San Marino, Maldives, Micronesia, Switzerland, and Norway are ranked first to fifth in terms of death rates in road accidents, of which San Marino casualties per 100,000 people were close to zero. And in Switzerland and Norway, it has not exceeded 2.7 people per 100,000 people; But Iran ranks 113th with a death rate of 20.5 per 100,000 people, after Morocco, Brazil, and Myanmar.

Despite the reduction of 3,575 in the number of road accidents fatalities, the number of people killed in accidents in a year is still more than 30,000.

Car crashes responsible for 1.3m deaths annually

According to the World Health Organization, every year the lives of approximately 1.3 million people are cut short as a result of a road traffic crash. Between 20 and 50 million more people suffer non-fatal injuries, with many incurring a disability as a result of their injury.

Road traffic injuries cause considerable economic losses to individuals, their families, and to nations as a whole. Road traffic crashes cost most countries 3% of their gross domestic product.

More than half of all road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users including, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.

Some 93% of the world’s fatalities on the roads occur in low- and middle-income countries, even though these countries have approximately 60 percent of the world's vehicles.

Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years.

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Since the adoption of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 60/5, the observance has spread to a growing number of countries on every continent.

The Day has become an important tool in global efforts to reduce road casualties. It offers an opportunity for drawing attention to the scale of the emotional and economic devastation caused by road crashes and for giving recognition to the suffering of road crash victims and the work of support and rescue services.

In September 2020, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/74/299 "Improving global road safety", proclaiming the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, with the ambitious target of preventing at least 50% of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030.

WHO and the UN regional commissions, in cooperation with other partners in the UN Road Safety Collaboration, have developed a Global Plan for the Decade of Action.

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