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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 overview for road safety indicators for 2011 in 37 countries, with preliminary data for 2012, and detailed reports for each of the 37 countries.

The report shows that:

  • 2012 will mark a record year, with figures showing the lowest fatalities on record for most OECD-IRTAD countries.
  • However, there is still a long way to go in order to achieve the 2020 UN Decade of Action target, which is to reduce by 50% the expected number of fatalities worldwide.
  • Road safety performance measured in terms of fatalities per 100 000 population varies 3-fold between the best and the worst OECD-IRTAD countries and 9-fold across all IRTAD members and observers.
  • The countries with the lowest fatalities per head of population are also those that perform best under other performance indicators; in relation to vehicle kilometres driven and in relation to the size of the car fleet. Much has been achieved over the last decade to improve the safety of car occupants through improvements in vehicle design and equipment, speed management and effective drink–driving policies, but simple approaches, such as achieving higher rates of seatbelt use still have major potential to safe lives, even in best performing countries.
  • The safety of vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, moped and motorcycle riders) is a critical issue. With the adoption in many countries of strategies to encourage active mobility, improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists should be a priority.
  • The safety of powered two-wheeler riders is of particular concern in many countries as the number of killed and seriously injured has not been reduced in line with improvements for other categories of road user. Reducing serious injuries is a core challenge. These can result in lifelong disabilities with considerable economic as well as emotional costs. The impact is often greatly underestimated, partly because of gaps in the data recording injury crashes. Improving understanding of the full costs of serious injury crashes entails joint analysis of data from police and hospital records.
  • Comparable data on serious injuries requires a common benchmark for assessing injuries. IRTAD recommends the use of the Maximum Abbreviated Injury Score for assessing injuries, on the basis of medical diagnosis, and a score of three or more as the common definition for a serious injury.

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