Global Road Safety Facts

According to the World Health Organization’s new report titled “Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013: Supporting a Decade of Action”, approximately 1.24 million people die every year on the world’s roads. Another 20 to 50 million sustain nonfatal injuries as a result of road traffic crashes. Road traffic injuries are estimated to be the eighth leading cause of death globally with an impact similar to many communicable diseases. Current trends suggest that by 2030 road traffic accidents will become the fifth leading cause of death unless urgent action is taken. Road traffic injuries are estimated to cost low- and middle-income countries between 1–2 % of their gross national product, estimated at over US$ 100 billion a year. Hence this is a serious problem that gets in the way of poverty eradication.

The following are findings from the report about worldwide road safety:
Of the 1.24 million global road traffic deaths, young adults aged between 15 and 44 years account for 59% of it.
92% of road traffic deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. These countries have only 53% of the world’s registered vehicles.
Vulnerable road users account for half of all road traffic deaths globally. Pedestrians, cyclists, and riders of motorized two-wheelers and their passengers are collectively known as “vulnerable road users.” The proportion of road traffic deaths in vulnerable road users is greater in low-income countries than in high-income countries.
Controlling speed reduces road traffic injuries. Only 59 countries, covering 39% of the world’s population (2.67 billion people), have implemented an urban speed limit of 50 km/h or less and allow local authorities to reduce these limits. A 5% cut in average speed can reduce the number of fatal crashes by as much as 30%.
Drinking alcohol and driving increases the risk of a crash. Above a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05 g/dl, the risk of road traffic crash increases dramatically. 89 countries, covering 66% of the world’s population (4.55 billion people), have a comprehensive drink-driving law enforcing the WHO-recommended blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.05 g/dl or less.
Wearing a good-quality helmet can reduce the risk of death from a road crash by 40%. Wearing a good-quality helmet can also reduce the risk of severe injury by over 70%. 90 countries, representing 77% of the world’s population, have a comprehensive helmet law covering all riders, all roads and all engine types, and apply a helmet standard.
Wearing a seat-belt reduces the risk of death among front-seat passengers by 40–65%. Wearing a seat-belt can also reduce deaths among rear-seat car occupants by 25–75%. 111 countries, representing 69% of the world’s population, have comprehensive seat-belt laws covering all occupants in a car.
Infant seats, child seats and booster seats can reduce child deaths by 54–80% in the event of a crash. More than half of all countries have implemented a law on child-restraint use in cars.
Prompt, good-quality pre-hospital care can save the lives of many people injured in road traffic crashes. 111 countries have a universal national access emergency number, but only 59 countries have ambulance services available to transport over 75% of injured patients to hospital.
Since 2007, 88 countries have reduced the number of road traffic deaths. This suggests that progress can be made if there is sufficient political commitment. However, in 87 countries the number of road traffic deaths has increased, while at the global level the number of deaths has remained stable. The pace of legislative change and enforcement need to be hastened and more attention paid to vulnerable road users to reduce the number of road traffic deaths.

//// Source
//// Global status report on road safety 2015
//// Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020
//// WHO Road Safety Fact sheet


• Uganda is a land locked country in the East Africa region with a population of 34.8 Million People (2014 Census).
• Road transport is the dominant mode of transport in Uganda, as is the case in most landlocked countries. The Vehicle population is estimated at 1.4 Million including motorcycles.
• In Uganda, road transport carries about 95% of the country’s goods traffic and about 99% of passenger traffic.
• The mode offers the great advantages of flexibility, the ability to move many small groups of passengers and goods consignments between many different origins and destinations, and the availability of door-to-door collection and delivery over a widely spread network.

The global road safety crisis is becoming an increasingly worrying phenomenon. In 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that “road traffic injuries are a growing public health issue” and that, there is also a trend for lower income countries to carry a disproportionate burden of suffering.
From 2011- 2014, road traffic fatalities had declined from 3,343 in 2011 to 2,845 in 2014; according to Uganda Police Report. However, during 2015 it shot up to 3,224.
During 2015 alone 13,736 people were seriously injured (hospitalised).
Traffic accident deaths are the highest among road users below the age of 35.
59% of all persons killed were below age 35 and 19% of these were below age 18.
This implies the most productive age bracket of the country is severely affected.
The country is experiencing rapid motorization spurred by economic growth and population increase and is currently grappling with an astronomical increase in the number of motorcycles used as Public Service Vehicles (boda-bodas).
According to the recently published WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, 2015 Uganda has the 20th highest road fatality rates per 100,000 population at 27.4.
Motorcycles accounted for over 33% of the annual road fatalities.
40% of these deaths are pedestrians.
8% cyclists.
8% motorists.
The rest contribute 14%.


• HUMAN ERROR ACCOUNT FOR 80% of road traffic crashes (This includes reckless driving, over speeding, inconsiderate use of the road, careless or ignorant pedestrians, incompetent drivers and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, talking on phone)
• DEFECTIVE VEHICLE CONDITION ACCOUNT FOR ABOUT 10 %( include defective brakes, steering, and suspension, worn out tyres, defective lights, indicators and engine among others.)
• ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ACCOUNT FOR 5% (include weather conditions and activities along the road such as road repairs, grazing of cattle alongside the road and road side markets like the one at Kasubi.)
• ROAD CONDITIONS ACCOUNT FOR 5 %( include bad road surface, pot holes and poor road designs and inadequate road furniture. Road geometrical characteristics also influence accident occurrence at points like sharp corners, steep hills and intersections also called Black spots.