Save Our Teen Drivers

Advocating for driver's education changes. Educating the public on the problem. Finding a solution that saves lives.

Car crashes: the next global pandemic

Posted by lapearce on November 20, 2009

Ethiopians are 134 times more likely to be killed in a car crash than Englishmen. Even though the country has only 1.5 cars per 1,000 people there is a fatal crash for every 60 cars on the road, compared to one for every 8,000 cars in the Western world. If everyone in Ethiopia had a car, and the life expectancy was 60 years, everyone would be death before they were 60.

That’s a scary thought.

Ethiopia is part of a growing trend of auto fatalities as more and more developing nations are becoming affluent enough to afford cars, but not affluent enough to have good roads, laws, education or well-maintained vehicles. The result is a massacre. Africa’s share of automobile fatalities is three times higher than its share of automobiles, a trend similar across most of the developing world. If nothing is done about the problem, car crashes will be a top three killer worldwide in a decade.

Someone is stepping up to do something about it. The UN’s Road Safety Collaboration is holding its first global conference on traffic safety today and tomorrow. The conference’s goals are:

  • Draw attention to the need for action to address the large and growing global impact of road traffic crashes, in particular in low and middle income countries
  • Review progress on implementation of the World report on road traffic injury prevention and the UN General Assembly resolutions
  • Provide a high-level global multisectoral policy platform to share information and good practices on road safety
  • Propose a number of actions for the future, including a discussion of the resources needed to fulfill these actions

PRI’s The World did a segment today on the conference and the epidemic of fatal car crashes the developing world. It really is tragic. Doctors are constantly trying to save lives in very avoidable crashes. These crashes wouldn’t happen with better roads, more driver’s education and better enforcement of laws. Many crashes happen at the hands of drunk drivers in the developing world as well.

This is a problem that needs to be addressed now. It will only get worse as more people can afford cars in the developing world.

Here is an example of what driving is like in a place without driver’s ed or enforced laws:

For more information please check out My E-shoe Box’s blog post on the problem: http://abesheet.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/an-ethiopian-hollocaust/

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