Road traffic injuries are a major but neglected public health challenge that requires concerted efforts for effective and sustainable prevention. Of all the systems with which people have to deal every day, road traffic systems are the most complex and the most dangerous. Worldwide, an estimated 1.2 million people are killed in road crashes each year and as many as 50 million are injured. Projections indicate that these figures will increase by about 65% over the next 20 years unless there is new commitment to prevention. Nevertheless, the tragedy behind these figures attracts less mass media attention than other, less frequent types of tragedy.
The World report on road traffic injury prevention is the first major report being jointly issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank on this subject. It underscores their concern that unsafe road traffic systems are seriously harming global public health and development. It contends that the level of road traffic injury is unacceptable and that it is largely avoidable.