Background

Road traffic accidents kill an estimated 1.25 million people each year -- 90 per cent of them in middle- and low-income countries. Such accidents are the leading cause of death among young people aged between 15 and 29. Almost half of all road traffic deaths are among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

Expressing its concern at the continued increase, in particular in developing countries, in traffic fatalities and injuries worldwide the General Assembly invited Member States and the international community to recognize the third Sunday in November of every year as the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

The Global status report on road safety 2015, reflecting information from 180 countries, indicates that worldwide the total number of road traffic deaths has plateaued at 1.25 million per year, with the highest road traffic fatality rates in low-income countries. In the last three years, 17 countries have aligned at least one of their laws with best practice on seat-belts, drink–driving, speed, motorcycle helmets or child restraints. 

This report serves as a baseline for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, declared by the UN General Assembly.

Also, to highlight the plight of children on the world’s roads and generate action to better ensure their safety, UN conducts Global Road Safety Week.