Hundreds of lives could be saved through improved road safety measures – study

Researchers from around the world analysed the impact of targeting ‘four key risk factors’.

More than 1,300 UK lives could be saved each year if proven road safety interventions were introduced, according to new research (Jacob King/PA)
More than 1,300 UK lives could be saved each year if proven road safety interventions were introduced, according to new research (Jacob King/PA)

More than 1,300 UK lives could be saved each year if proven road safety interventions were introduced, according to new research.

Researchers from around the world analysed the impact of targeting the “four key risk factors” of speeding, drink-driving, lack of helmet and seatbelt use in 185 countries.

The study, published as a Series in The Lancet, found up to half a million lives could be saved through measures such as infrastructure changes, more enforcement of drink-driving regulations, and the passing and enforcement of motorcycle helmet and seatbelt rules.

Most road traffic deaths are preventable

Professor Adnan Hyder

In the UK, the potential number of lives saved each year for the four areas was 815 for speeding, 373 for seatbelt use, 125 for helmet use and 71 for drink-driving.

Series co-author Dr Andres Vecino-Ortiz, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA, said: “We hope that these new estimates provide tangible impetus for the global road safety community to focus on implementing evidence-based interventions, especially in low and middle-income countries.

“These estimates can be used by policymakers to perform their own priority setting analyses to reduce road fatalities.”

Provisional Department for Transport figures show there were 1,560 fatalities on Britain’s roads last year.

Series co-ordinator Professor Adnan Hyder, from The George Washington University in the US, said: “Most road traffic deaths are preventable, but sadly the number of fatalities continues to rise in low-income countries while progress in high-income countries has slowed over the past decade.”

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