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Global Report Released on Road Safety
Results Remind us to Keep Safe Both in and out of the Car

Published: June 15, 2009

Infant in car seat

Motor vehicles add convenience to our lives. What is unfortunate is that motor vehicle crashes can—and do—happen. Across the globe, 1.27 million people die in traffic crashes each year. What’s more, nearly half of those who die (46 percent) are pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Status Report on Road Safety.

The Global Status Report on Road Safety—the first ever worldwide assessment of road safety—looked at data from 178 countries, representing 98 percent of the world’s population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) served as the National Data Coordinator for the report’s U.S.-based data.

The report is a reminder that safe driving is not only about personal safety, but the safety of others. Preventing injuries among those who walk and ride all other vehicles, including motorcycles and bikes, is also important, according to Grant Baldwin, PhD, director of CDC’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention.

“Every ten seconds, someone in the United States is treated in an emergency department for injuries resulting from a motor vehicle crash. This totals more than 9,000 people a day,” Baldwin said. “Research shows that there are proven ways to prevent these deaths and injuries. We need to work together to reduce motor vehicle crash rates and help all Americans live to their full potential.”

Motor vehicle crashes have declined in the United States in recent decades but progress has slowed. They remain one of the leading causes of death for Americans of all ages. More than 3 million people in the United States are treated in emergency departments for crash-related injuries each year. More than 40,000 die as a result of their injuries. These injuries and deaths are preventable.

Boy in car

Protect yourself and the ones you love from being injured in motor vehicle crashes:

  • Use appropriate child safety seats.
  • Transport children in the back seat of your vehicle.
  • If you have a teenage driver, sign an agreement in order to limit risky driving, such as having multiple passengers and driving at night.
  • Wear motorcycle and bicycle helmets.

CDC’s Injury Center works to raise awareness of the issues that put motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians in harm’s way; identify who is at highest risk of sustaining motor-vehicle crashes; and support proven strategies to enhance motor-vehicle safety. For information about CDC’s work in motor vehicle injury prevention, visit

For more information and a full copy of the WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, visit The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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