Sunday is Global Road Victim Remembrance Day

Sunday, November 17 marks the 20th World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims, and The George Institute for Global Health, a leading health and medical research organisation whose work on road safety contributes to prevention efforts both locally and globally, has called for renewed attention and awareness to the dangers of road crashes and their toll on millions of lives every year.

The impact of every road death is enormous, affecting families, workplaces and communities. In particular, low and middle-income countries bear the brunt of over 90% of road death globally. Major humanitarian responses, like the efforts occurring now in the wake of the catastrophic typhoon in the Philippines and Vietnam, heighten concerns around road deaths.

“Around 1.3 million people die in road crashes every year and 50 million are seriously injured,” said Professor Rebecca Ivers, Director of The George Institute’s Injury Division. “Sunday’s remembrance is a way to reflect on past tragedies and focus on preventing future ones.”

“While our research throughout the year highlights the need for better road safety, particular attention should be paid to road safety during responses to humanitarian crises,” continued Professor Ivers. “Storm disaster areas like the Philippines and Vietnam offer a double dose of danger – damaged roads bearing hurried relief efforts combined with enormous shifts in vehicular and pedestrian traffic.”

“This year’s theme is Let’s have roads that are safe for all,” said Professor Ivers. “Not only are road deaths an issue in the Asian region, but also here in Australia, where we have around 1300 deaths per year. Ensuring our roads and policies are aimed at safety all for road users is essential.”  

The George Institute conducts research on road safety and injury prevention worldwide. Recent work examined the cost of road injury in Vietnam and showed that treatment costs for road injury cost approximately six months of salary.

For more information visit the World Remembrance Day website.

Road safety statistics

  • Road injury is the eighth leading cause of death worldwide and is projected to grow.
  • Young adults aged between 15 and 44 years account for 59% of global road traffic deaths.
  • An estimated 1.3 million people die and 20 to 50 million are injured or disabled as a result of road crashes every year, which places great pressure on health systems globally. The majority of deaths occur in South-East Asia and the Western Pacific region.
  • 40 people die every day in Vietnamese road crashes.