May 9, 2011
Road Safety Monday
Many of us know someone affected by the tragedy of a road traffic crash. It’s a global epidemic that reaches far and wide – from the busy streets of Baltimore to dimly lit alleys of Mumbai. In fact, more than two people die every minute on the world’s roads. That adds up to a staggering 1.3 million people every year.
This Wednesday, May 11, 2011, marks the launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety, a global initiative that aims to reverse the trend in global road traffic crashes, make road safety a public health priority and save up to 5 million lives by 2020.
Did you know that although the majority of these deaths occur in the developing world, road traffic injuries are the top killer of healthy Americans traveling abroad? And according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 5-34 here in the United States.
World leaders are currently joining together to develop policies and put the Decade of Action for Road Safety into practice. But there are many things we can also do to help reduce these needless tragedies on the world’s roads.
First, we can help promote the World Health Organization’s global message to wear the Decade of Action for Road Safety tag. For researchers in the field, focus on the five leading risk factors for road traffic injuries: speed control, alcohol control, seat belts/child restraint usage, visibility promotion and helmet use. And everyone can benefit from these important driving safety tips:
- Always use your seatbelt.
- Do not mix alcohol or other drugs with driving.
- Avoid distractions by turning off your mobile device; keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.
- Make sure you are well rested and adhere to the speed limit.
- Keep your vehicle safe with regular car and tire maintenance.
- If you are a parent of an infant or young child, learn about the proper child restraints by visiting http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/carseatsafety.cfm; if you are the parent of a teenager, visit the CDC’s Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers campaign at http://www.cdc.gov/ParentsAreTheKey/index.html
These safety tips are brought to you by the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit in the Department of International Health and the Center for Injury Research and Policy in the Department of Health Policy and Management.Every Monday, the Johns Hopkins Healthy Monday Project, part of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, offers tips for preventing disease and injury, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Check back each week for new tips or visit our archive.