Worldwide, road traffic injuries claim more than 1.2 million lives each year and are leading causes of death among young people aged between 15 and 29 years old. These deaths have a huge impact on health and development and represent an economic burden in every country.
In the Americas, 154,089 people died due to road traffic in 2013, about 12% of the world's traffic deaths. This figure represents a 3% increase in road traffic deaths in the Region, rising from 149,357 deaths in 2010. The road traffic mortality rate for the Region is 15.9 per 100,000 population. These deaths are not equally distributed from country to country; moreover, the distribution of deaths is not consistent with income level. Vulnerable road user (pedestrians, cyclist, and motorcyclists) make up almost half (45%) of all traffic deaths in the Region. In 2013, cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians accounted for 3%, 20% and 22% of all road traffic deaths, respectively.
To tackle road traffic injuries, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has adopted the Plan of Action for Road Safety and is working with Member States in the implementation and full enforcement of legislation to regulate road-user culture and behavior, reduce risk factors (drive, speed, and alcohol) and improve protective factors (use of helmets, seat belts, and child restrains).