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WHO’s Report on Road Fatalities

Why is it in the news?

  • The World Health Organization’s recent report reveals a 5% global drop in road fatalities from 2010 to 2021, with 108 nations reporting reductions.
  • Regrettably, India stands out with a 15% increase in road traffic fatalities during the same period.

 More about the news

Global Road Traffic Deaths (2010-2021):

  • Worldwide, the number of road traffic deaths saw a 5% reduction, dropping to 1.19 million annually.
  • This positive trend was observed across 108 United Nations member nations, which reported a decrease in road fatalities during this period.
  • In contrast to the global trend, India experienced a concerning 15% increase in road traffic fatalities. The total number of deaths on Indian roads rose from 1.34 lakh in 2010 to 1.54 lakh in 2021.
  • Notable achievements were seen in countries such as Belarus, Brunei Darussalam, Denmark, Japan, Lithuania, Norway, Russian Federation, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela, where road traffic deaths were reduced by 50% or more.
  • Thirty-five additional countries made significant progress, achieving a reduction in road traffic deaths ranging from 30% to 50%.


Global Road Fatality Rate (2010-2021):

  • Despite a 5% reduction in the absolute number of road traffic deaths, the global population increased by nearly 14 billion people, roughly 13%.
  • Consequently, the road fatality rate declined from 18 deaths per 1 lakh people in 2010 to 15 deaths per 1 lakh in 2021, marking a 16% decline in the road traffic death rate since 2010.


Global Motor Vehicle Fleet (2010-2021):

  • The global motor vehicle fleet grew substantially, increasing by 160%.
  • Despite this growth, the annual fatality rates per 1 lakh vehicles declined significantly, dropping from 79 deaths to 47 deaths—a notable 41% reduction.


Regional Distribution of Road Traffic Deaths:

  • A breakdown of road traffic fatalities by region indicates that 28% occurred in the WHO’s South-East Asia Region, 25% in the Western Pacific Region, 19% in the African Region, 12% in the Region of the Americas, 11% in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, and 5% in the European Region.


Risk Disparities and Global Deaths:

  • The report highlights significant disparities, with nine out of 10 road traffic deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Despite having only 1% of the world’s motor vehicles, low-income countries face a three times higher risk of road traffic death compared to high-income countries.


Global Distribution of Road Traffic Fatalities by User Type:

  • Four-wheel vehicle occupants represent 30% of fatalities.
  • Pedestrians make up 23% of fatalities.
  • Powered two- and three-wheeler users account for 21% of fatalities.
  • Cyclists contribute to 6% of fatalities.
  • Users of micro-mobility devices, including e-scooters, represent 3% of deaths.

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