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Traffic crashes: the eighth leading cause of death in the world

The World Health Organization has ranked traffic accidents as the eighth leading cause of death in the entire world, beating out HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Traffic accidents are also the leading global cause of death among those aged 5 to 29. Connecticut residents will want to know what sort of improvements have been made and what else is being considered.

In its 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety, WHO found that there were 1.35 million traffic-related deaths across the world in 2016. While the UN's goal to halve traffic deaths between 2016 and 2020 will likely not be met, there have been improvements in legislation. Of the 175 countries involved in the WHO study, 132 have funded strategies for road safety. There have been specific improvements in laws governing two- and three-wheeler vehicles.

There are 10 times more countries that meet best practices for drunk driving laws than there were in 2014. Of the 161 countries with seat belt laws, 71 percent meet best practice recommendations. However, the report did not have enough evidence to go in-depth into drugged and distracted driving.

What must be considered are road conditions. People in low-income countries have triple the risk for a crash, and this could partly be due to poorly designed roads, a lack of safe crossings or public transportation, and the presence of road debris.

Many traffic crashes are caused through the negligence of one or the other party. Both may be partially at fault. Those who believe they have a valid personal injury case may consult with an attorney. A successful claim might reimburse victims for their medical expenses, property damage, physical and emotional distress and lost income, among other losses. The attorney may be able to hire investigators, accident reconstruction experts and other third parties to strengthen the case before proceeding to negotiations.

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