Road traffic crashes are one of the main causes of death worldwide due to unintentional injuries; therefore, they are a vital public health concern internationally, with increased deaths yearly (Huang et al., 2023). The health burden caused by road traffic injuries (RTIs) is increasingly significant. However, despite the increasing significance of road traffic injuries in human health, RTIs receive significantly less attention than other health conditions. In this contemporary scenario, traffic injuries are a serious problem impacting citizens, families, and societies in every country. Nonetheless, 93% of road traffic injuries happen in countries with middle and low earnings, even though these states have 60% of the world’s vehicles. According to Huang et al. (2023), road traffic crashes cost many countries at least 3% of their GDP. Death injuries due to traffic are defined as life-threatening injuries due to car accidents and cause serious effects on people and society. The incidents occur every year leading to non-lethal injuries, with many experiencing disabilities due to the injuries. These accidents significantly impact the general public’s health and safety. Road traffic death, and injuries lead to significant losses to individuals, their households, and the nation. Accordingly, risk factors affect the outcomes regarding fatality and injury severity. As stated by the World Health Organization (WHO), traffic death injuries because of high death rates, especially for young adults and children aged 5- 29. The major causes of road traffic crashes include violation of traffic regulations, for instance, speeding and drunk driving. The other causes to be discussed could include poorly constructed infrastructure, lack of knowledge for drivers, and overconfidence among the drivers. The constructive solutions to this issue could be lowering blood alcohol concentration, ensuring drivers are equipped with the required knowledge, and maintaining strict traffic rules and regulations. This paper will address the death rates due to road traffic injuries and implement a solution to overcome the problem.
World Health Organization (WHO) defines death injuries due to traffic as life-threatening injuries due to car accidents, underlining the effects and seriousness of the incidents on people and society. According to WHO statistics, in 2021, approximately 1.35 million individuals die yearly from road traffic injuries (Najafi et al., 2021). These traffic deaths occur in several settings, including rural roads, highways, and urban areas. The accidents involve vehicles of different types. Nevertheless, most traffic injuries and deaths are among unsafe road users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. Death injuries from traffic combine road infrastructure, environmental elements, and vehicle-related issues. Therefore, poor road construction, little focus on environmentally friendly transportation options, failure to equip the drivers with the required knowledge, and poorly maintained vehicles can increase traffic-related accidents. However, the causes can be categorized into two perspectives: Individual perspective and systematic perspective. Individual perspective covers reckless driving practices, lack of knowledge and training for drivers, overconfidence, and human error. On the other hand, the systematic perspective covers inadequate spending on road construction, little focus on environmentally friendly transportation options, and inconsistent enforcement and restrictions. Nevertheless, drunk driving and violation of traffic regulations are known to be the major causes. It was confirmed that 13,384 individuals died in traffic accidents due to drunk driving in 2021. In the US, about 37 people perish daily due to drunken driving accidents, or one person every 39 minutes. Conversely, according to the Ministry of Road and Transport, 91,239 persons died because of overspeeding in India. There are some possible strategies to reduce the death rate due to traffic injuries.
The overall goal is to ensure safe driving practices to avoid accidents. A comprehensive strategy that includes upgraded infrastructure, road safety policies, efficient regulation mechanisms, and responsible driving behavior is essential to traffic injuries and deaths. Additionally, to lessen the count of deaths associated with traffic injuries, it is essential to ensure strict traffic rules and regulations and lower Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limits; at 0.10% BAC, thinking slows, and motorists have trouble staying in their lane. These strict rules and regulations could include seat belt use, speed limits, and compliance with traffic signals. If drivers abide by these regulations, the chance of accidents occurring will be minimal fatalities, and injuries will diminish. In addition, lowering the blood alcohol content might greatly decrease traffic injuries and deaths (Willardsen et al., 2023). This is because, with a lower percentage of BAC, drivers can concentrate, their muscles have good coordination, drivers have no impaired perception, and they have long-term memory. Additionally, having road safety knowledge can prevent road dangers, making the road safer for each person. This approach could be time-consuming and sometimes ineffective; however, WHO has shown some potential to address the issue by reducing human involvement and bias. The United Nations General Assembly set an aspiring target to minimize global injuries and deaths from road traffic crashes by half by 2030 (Shapoval, 2022). The abovementioned solutions should be practiced to ensure minimal chances of traffic deaths and injuries.
Critique of the solution
It is flawed that promoting safe driving practices and improving road safety regulations and policies leads to fewer road traffic accidents from the individual and systematic perspective. A study by Fisa et al. (2022) revealed that the cases of road traffic deaths and injuries reduce when road safety rules and safe driving practices are ensured. In addition, education and strong penalties are combined in the suggested strategy to stop drunken driving incidents. The education activities encourage understanding among the drivers and promote sound judgment. Hence, the drivers can objectively access circumstances using the relevant traffic information and apply their past experiences to make the right road decisions. Similarly, driver education encourages healthy habits and gives them practice behind the wheel, reducing the likelihood of an accident. The measures work together to ensure less drunk driving and promote road safety.
In general, good health and wellbeing are daily requirements for every person. Individuals with a high ranking of wellbeing are more beneficial at work and are more presumably to contribute to their communities. Road traffic injuries should be avoided to ensure good health among individuals. Good health is associated with better immune functioning, decreased injuries, and increased longevity. Drunk driving and violation of traffic regulations are the major causes of traffic accidents. The solution to road traffic injuries and deaths includes upgraded infrastructure, efficient regulation mechanisms, and ensuring strong road safety policies. Additionally, the drivers should be equipped with the required knowledge to understand road traffic rules. Strong penalties should be introduced for drivers against the road traffic rules.
Huang, J., Song, Z., Xie, L., Lin, Z., & Li, L. (2023). Analysis of risky riding behavior characteristics of electric bicycle riders’ related road traffic injuries. International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(7), 5352. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20075352
Fisa, R., Musukuma, M., Sampa, M., Musonda, P., & Young, T. (2022). Effects of interventions for preventing road traffic crashes: an overview of systematic reviews. BMC public health, 22(1), 513. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12889-021-12253-y#citeas
Najafi Moghaddam Gilani, V., Hosseinian, S. M., Ghasedi, M., & Nikookar, M. (2021). Data-driven urban traffic accident analysis and prediction using logit and machine learning-based pattern recognition models. Mathematical problems in engineering, 2021, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/9974219
Shapoval, V. Y. (2022). The UN Sustainable Development Goals and their implantations in Spain and Ukraine (Master’s thesis, Sumy State University).
Willardsen, K., Portillo, J. E., & Sugiarto, W. Drink… Then Drive Away: The Effects of Lowering the Bac in Utah. Then Drive Away: The Effects of Lowering the Bac in Utah. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4354970#