GENEVA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- 28 countries, covering 7 percent of the world's population, have comprehensive road safety laws addressing all five key risk factors for road traffic death and injury, said a report launched here Thursday by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the global status report on road safety 2013: supporting a decade of action, 1.24 million deaths occur annually on the world's roads with little observed change since 2007. Drinking and driving, speeding, failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints are listed as the five risk factors.
The report found that several groups are particularly at risk of dying in a road traffic crash. For example, 59 percent of those who are killed in road traffic crashes are between the ages of 15 and 44 years; pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycles constitute 50 percent of all road deaths globally.
Although middle-income countries have only half of the world's vehicles, they have 80 percent of the world's road traffic deaths, the report indicated.
In addition to the five risk factors noted above, it highlighted the importance of issues such as vehicle safety standards, road infrastructure inspections, policies on walking and cycling, and aspects of pre-hospital care systems.
"The pace of legislative change needs to rapidly accelerate if the number of deaths from road traffic crashes is to be substantially reduced," said the report.
This report presented information from 182 countries and regions, accounting for almost 99 percent of the world's population or 6.8 billion people. It serves as a baseline for monitoring action through the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011--2020.