Home Menu Search

New record low in roads deaths

24 May 2013

Article from the International Transport Forum.

According to the annual IRTAD Road Safety Report 2013 published by the International Transport Forum at the OECD, 2012 has marked a record year, with figures showing the lowest fatalities on record for most OECD-IRTAD countries*.

However, road safety performance in terms of fatalities per 100 000 population varies considerably: Among OECD-IRTAD countries, the difference between the best and the worst road safety performers is 3-fold. Across all IRTAD members and observers, the difference is 9-fold.

The disparity reflects the divide between developed countries with effective road safety policies and emerging economies facing rapid motorisation that outpaces the implementation of safety measures

The bulk of reductions in fatalities has benefitted car occupants. Largely due to increased passive safety features of cars, deaths among car passengers have halved in the past decade.

Results have been less positive for vulnerable road users. Between 2000 and 2010, in OECD-IRTAD countries pedestrian and cyclist deaths fell by only one third, and those of moped and motorcycle riders by only 14%.

The safety of vulnerable road users continues to be a core road safety issue, not least in lower income countries. Also, with many countries seeking to encourage active mobility, improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists is a priority.

Another core challenge is the reduction of serious injuries caused by road crashes. Such injuries often result in lifelong disabilities associated with considerable economic as well as emotional costs. The impact of these serious road injuries is often greatly underestimated, partly because of gaps in the data recording injury crashes. Currently, only a limited number of countries are able to provide sound road injury data.

An internationally accepted definition of a serious injury did not exist until recently. A proposal made by an IRTAD expert group has now been adopted by the European Commission, which is expected to issue a reduction target on serious injuries for the year 2020. The challenge for IRTAD members now is to implement the recommendations.

* OECD-IRTAD members

 Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.
Non-OECD countries participating in IRTAD activities: Argentina, Cambodia, Colombia, Jamaica, Lithuania, Malaysia, Serbia, South Africa.

Related news, events and information

IRTAD annual report on Road Safety

15 July 2013 – The 2013 edition of the IRTAD annual report on Road Safety is available on line. This report provides an...

Vulnerable road users benefit less from improved road safety

21 May 2014 – According to the International Transport Forum at the OECD the number of road fatalities fell by 1.7% between...

The economic downturn has combined with road safety interventions to save lives.

22 July 2009 – A recent report issued by The International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD) shows that after a...

Millions of Young Lives Lost Without Global Road Safety Investment,

20 June 2022 – Almost 12 million serious injuries to children and youth can be prevented between now and 2050 if proven road...

Road Safety Seminar “Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: Leading a Paradigm Shift to a Safe System”

8 September 2016 – Every year, 1.25 million people die in road traffic. Road crashes are the seventh most frequent cause of death...

Expert Guide to The Safe System

4 August 2022 – This report from OECD first published in 2016 is well-worth re-reading by all who are involved in delivering a...

ITF and FIA Launch New Road Safety Co-operation

21 May 2014 – This is a three-year programme agreed to improve the collection and use of traffic crash data in joint effort...

IRTAD publishes 2013 Road Safety Annual Report

24 June 2013 – The International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group has published its 2013 Annual Road Safety...

International Transport Forum Annual Report

3 December 2019 – The International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD) has released its 2019 annual report, which...