Many people in Georgia are deeply troubled by the growing number of traffic fatalities found on the roads. This is far from a local concern, however; global health experts at the World Health Organization have identified traffic-related deaths as a major worldwide problem. Across the globe, motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 5 and 29. Across all age groups, crashes are the eighth most common cause of death, outstripping HIV and tuberculosis on the list of fatal global health concerns. In 2016 alone, 1.35 million people lost their lives in car crashes, a statistic cited by the WHO in its 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety.
The WHO urged countries to beef up their programs to improve roadway safety, identifying traffic fatalities as a major concern. It noted that the United Nations’ goal of reducing collision deaths by half between 2016 and 2020 is unlikely to be achieved. However, the WHO also said that while the number of fatalities is growing in the absolute, the death rate in terms of the world population has remained stable. For the past 15 years, that rate has hovered at around 18 traffic deaths per 100,000 people.
Global inequalities are also reflected in the traffic statistics. People in low-income countries are three times more likely to die in a motor vehicle collision. While these low-income countries are home to only 1 percent of the world’s cars and trucks, they are also the site of 13 percent of the world’s crash deaths.
Car accidents can cause severe injuries and lifelong disabilities. In many cases, these devastating collisions are caused by another driver’s negligence. Accident victims may work with a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.