What is the ninth leading cause of death overall globally? (Photo: Getty Images) GETTY
It is the leading cause of death among children and young adults around the world. It is the ninth leading cause of death overall globally. It resulted in about 1.35 million people dying in 2016 alone. It will probably become the seventh leading killer worldwide by 2030.
If you are currently a member of Generation Z, this is what you are at greatest risk of dying from: road traffic injuries. That’s because according to the 2018 Global Status on Road Safety from the World Health Organization (WHO), such injuries constitute the number one killer of those who are five to 29 years old. That’s why Bloomberg Philanthropies started its Initiative for Global Road Safety to address the road safety problem.
Unless you are Aquaman or live in a very remote location, you probably regularly deal with road traffic in some way. Even if you are five years old and don’t have a real car or a driver’s license yet (by the way, you shouldn’t have either), you still have to worry about this major global problem. Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists comprise over half of all traffic-related deaths. Breaking it down further, 26% of all road traffic deaths were pedestrians and cyclists, 28% were drivers of two- or three-wheeled vehicles, 29% were car occupants, and 17% were “unidentified road users.” Add to the deaths, the up to 50 million who survive road traffic accidents but suffer injuries each year.
Although getting run over by a pig or a cow is probably no picnic, the rise in road traffic injuries is certainly connected to the rise in automobile and other individual motorized vehicle usage around the world. Contrary to what you may see on the Flintstones, cars really have only been around for less than a century-and-a-half. But the growth in the number of motorized vehicles over a relatively short period of time has been remarkable. As the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates, in just a three-year period, 2010 to 2013, the number of registered vehicles around the world increased by 16%. It can be challenging to measure the total number of motorized vehicles since many vehicles may go unregistered and that’s not counting the DeLoreans that are time traveling. But there are estimates that over 1.2 billion cars are out there.
The trouble is the rise and spread of such vehicles have been so rapid that many of the existing surrounding systems haven’t been able to keep pace. Or in many cases, the wrong systems were in place in the first place. This is true all around the world, but especially in many low- and middle-income countries. To address these systems, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Initiative for Global Road Safety first looked at what may be contributing to these problems and how best to address them. This included collecting and analyzing lots of data on road safety. As Kelly Henning, MD, who leads the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Health program, explained, “Down to the city level, all the work that we do is data driven. This meant increasing the surveillance that is occurring and the strength of data.“https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2019/04/20/what-is-the-number-one-killer-of-people-ages-5-to-29/#344ec729363f