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Traffic accidents now eighth leading cause of death worldwide

Most Georgia drivers understand the importance of strong road safety regulations. Over the years, laws on speeding, drunk driving, seatbelts and child restraints have helped reduce deaths in the U.S. and worldwide. However, according to a new report by the World Health Organization, many low-income countries lack sufficient laws in these areas. As a result, traffic fatalities continue to rise.

The 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety found that 1.35 million people died in motor vehicle accidents around the world in 2016. That number represents an all-time high. It also makes traffic deaths the eighth leading cause of death for people in all age groups around the world and the top cause of death for young people between the ages of 5 and 29. On the other hand, the worldwide death rate of 18 per 100,000 people has stayed steady over the past 15 years.

Previously, the United Nations established a goal of cutting traffic deaths in half between 2016 and 2020. However, the WHO report says that there has not been enough global progress to reach that goal. One of the reasons progress has stalled is that low-income countries lag behind high-income countries in road safety regulations and post-crash emergency care. This discrepancy is seen in the report’s crash statistics. For example, only 1 percent of the globe’s cars and trucks are operating in poor countries, but 13 percent of all traffic fatalities happen in those countries. Meanwhile, traffic victims in low-income countries are twice as likely to die on the way to the hospital as victims in high-income countries due to poor emergency care.

The victim of a car accident could find relief by contacting a personal injury lawyer for advice. Legal counsel could help gather evidence supporting a personal injury claim and work to negotiate a settlement that covers medical expenses and other damages.