WHO releases Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 (19 October 2015)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the Global Status Report on Road Safety, 2015.

Key Messages:

Each year, 1.25 million people die as a result of road traffic crashes/ incidents.

Road traffic crashes are the leading cause of death among those aged 15-29 years.

Target 3.6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to halve the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2020.

Although there has been a 4% increase in global population, and a 16% increase in motorization, the number of road traffic deaths-1.25 million- has plateaued since 2007. This is attributed to road safety efforts over the past 3 years.

Although low and middle-income countries account for only 54% of the world’s vehicles, they account for 90% of road traffic deaths.

The WHO African Region (26.6/ 100,000 population) has the highest road traffic death rate.

Globally, almost half (49%) of all road traffic deaths are among motorcyclists (23%), pedestrians (22%), and cyclists (4%). However, the likelihood of dying as a pedestrian, motorcyclist or cyclist varies with region.

If an adult pedestrian is hit by a car travelling at less than 50 km/h, the chance of dying is less than 20%. However, if the car is travelling at 80 km/h, the risk of dying is almost 60%.

Only 34 countries, representing 2.1 billion people, have drink-driving laws in line with best practice: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of less than or equal to 0.05 g/dl; with lower limits of less than or equal to 0.02 g/dl for young and novice drivers.

Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of death by almost 40%, and the risk of severe injury by almost 70%.

However, only 44 countries, representing 1.2 billion people, have helmet laws that are in line with best practice:

  • apply to all drivers, passengers (including children), roads and engine types 
  •  require the helmet to be fastened
  • refer to a particular helmet standard

Wearing a seat-belt reduces the risk of fatality among drivers and front-seat passengers by 45–50%, and the risk of minor and serious injuries by 20–45% respectively.

Among rear-seat passengers, seatbelts reduce fatal and serious injuries by 25% and minor injuries by up to 75%.

Child restraints reduce the likelihood of fatalities as a result of a crash by approximately 90% among infants and between 54% and 80% among young children. Additionally, children are safer seated in the rear of a vehicle than in the front.

Vehicles sold in 80% countries fail to meet basic safety standards.

Useful Links:

Link to the press release:


Link to infographic on road safety (English) [PDF]:


Link to the WHO fact sheet on Road traffic injuries (updated 15 October 2015):


Link to the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015:


Link to interactive map ‘Death on the Roads’ based on the report:


Link to the Summary document of the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 (English):


Link to Country Profiles (Road Safety Status) 2015:


One thought on “WHO releases Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 (19 October 2015)

  1. Pingback: WHO releases Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 (19 October 2015) | Social Stigmas

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