Editorials

Death and injury on roads

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7558.53 (Published 06 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:53
  1. Shanthi Ameratunga, director, Injury Prevention Research Centre (s.ameratunga@auckland.ac.nz),
  2. Rod Jackson, professor of epidemiology,
  3. Robyn Norton, professor of public health
  1. School of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. School of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand
  3. University of Sydney, George Institute for International Health, PO Box M201, NSW 2050, Australia

    Lowering the road toll will take much more than altering road users' behaviour

    In 2002 a theme issue of the BMJ focused on the unacceptable, and largely neglected, global toll of road traffic crashes.1 The subsequent report by the World Health Organization highlighted that low and middle income countries bear the brunt of this burden, accounting for more than 85% of the deaths and 90% of disability adjusted life years lost from road crashes.2 In contrast, many high income countries (including the United Kingdom) were shown to have sharply reduced their rates of road crashes in recent decades, exemplifying what could be achieved.

    It is tempting to bask in the glory of such creditable achievements, but, as always, the devil is in the detail. A heterogeneous and unplanned collection of three papers appearing in this week's BMJ35 and one being published on line6 provides a timely reminder of the extent to which the potential to prevent road traffic injury remains a challenge, …

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