The Global Issue of Vehicle Accidents

A new study from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that traffic and vehicles fatalities aren’t just an American problem. It’s an everywhere problem.

The worldwide study focuses on adolescents, or young people between the ages of 10 to 19. It looks at the rate of fatalities among adolescents across the world, with a specific focus on the cause of death. Among young people, disease is a prominent cause of death, with respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases in the top five causes of death. Drowning and self-harm also made it into the top five causes, with self-harm shown as a particular issue in Europe. In the Americas, violence and abuse are a major factor. War plays a big role in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

The Role of Road Injuries in Adolescent Deaths

Across the globe, though, road injuries took the most lives. WHO’s study does not define “road injuries”, but it likely refers to any accident involving a vehicle.

Boys have a higher number of road injury fatalities than girls. Plus, boys in the 15 to 19 age group show the highest risk. Depending on the area, there are many reasons why this age group is particularly susceptible to road injuries. For one, boys are more likely to be employed at a young age than girls in many countries. This puts them out on the roads and streets in greater numbers. In other counties, girls and women are not allowed to drive, or simply never learn, due to the prioritization of other duties. And while it may just be a stereotype, teenage boys are more likely to exhibit reckless or adventurous behavior around vehicles.

Girls, meanwhile, have their own problems, including pregnancy complications and a higher risk of HIV/AIDS, congenital anomalies, and meningitis. However, only 6.1 out of every 100,000 adolescent girls die of road injuries, versus 22 boys.

Worldwide Differences

Economic factors also play a role. In developed countries, like the United States, adolescents are more likely to be killed when driving a vehicle. In less developed countries, they are more likely to be killed as a pedestrian or cyclist. The number of traffic deaths also probably relates directly to population. Large countries, like China, have more vehicles on the road and therefore, a higher chance of fatality. Developed countries also see more people who are able to afford vehicles, again increasing the number of vehicles on the roads.

Overall, the study shows that 1.2 million people between the ages of 10 and 19 die every year. That’s an average of 3,000 deaths per day. Many of these causes of deaths are preventable through education and medicine. Road injuries may be the easiest of all to prevent. The circumstances vary across the world, but here in the United States, we should all work harder at doing what we can to protect our younger citizens from preventable road injuries.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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