The statistics are clear and there is no doubt that the crisis facing young people is very real: Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds, causing more deaths than HIV/AIDS or Tuberculosis. Over 30% of those killed and injured in road traffic crashes are less than 25 years old.
LMICs - Low and Midde Income Countries
Most young people killed by road traffic injuries live in LMICs and are vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and users of public transport. The socioeconomic condition of a family affects the likelihood of a child or young adult being killed or injured in a road traffic crash. Those from economically poor backgrounds, in both richer and poorer countries, are at greatest risk.
More than half of all road traffic deaths occur among individuals between 15 and 55 years of age and 73% of those who lose their lives are males. This means that victims are in the prime of life and often breadwinner for their families. Their loss can push their families further into poverty.
Three main factors come together to put youth at more risk of road traffic crashes worldwide: age, inexperience and gender (among drivers, young males under the age of 25 years are almost three times as likely to be killed as females of this age). This is in addition to the factors that put all age groups at greater risk, including lack of laws for road safety, insufficient law enforcement and worn out roads and vehicles.
We must also consider the 'environmental context', for example, roads that do not cater to the needs of all road users such as pedestrians and children; pedestrians and cyclists sharing the road with motorized traffic; insufficient enforcement of safety laws.
In September 2015, the world set its global development agenda for the next 15 years. These are called the Global Goals, which include for the first time, two road safety targets:
Target 3.6 – To halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2030
Target 11.2 - By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
In 2020, global ministers came together during the 3rd Ministerial Conference on Road Safety to review the road safety targets in the Global Goals. During this conference, heads of state reaffirmed their commitment to achieving 50by30. With the new Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021 - 2030, we have another decade to halve the number of road-related deaths and injuries around the world. YOURS is calling for real action to reach this very ambitious target.
If you want to get involved, you can sign up to join the Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety.
For recent studies please visit the website of the World Health Organization which acts as a coordinator on road safety issues across the United Nations system: www.who.int. The latest data can be found in the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018.