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Road safety a global public health issue

Global burden of road traffic injuriesWhat public health problem has high morbidity and mortality, affects vulnerable populations, is preventable and is undoubtedly in your community?

Fatal traffic wrecks. 

During a panel at Health Journalism 2011, Jacob Nelson of AAA [presentation] contended traffic safety has "all the elements of a great public health story" that's unrecognized and under-reported.

Based on the news this week, it would seem that the Centers for Disease Control, the United Nations and the World Health Organization agree with Nelson:

  • The CDC has analyzed how much such crashes are costing each state, ranging from $4.16 billion in California to $74 million in Alaska, and has state-by-state fact sheets .

  • The UN proclaimed 2011 to 2020 the Decade of Action for Road Safety, a period of enhanced focus on protecting people on the world's roads.

  • The WHO and the FIA Foundation have launched a website to help raise awareness.