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Road traffic crashes
Road safety and public health: a US perspective and the global challenge
  1. S Binder1,
  2. J W Runge2
  1. 1Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Department of Health and Human Services
  2. 2Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, United States Department of Transportation
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Binder;

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Together we can save lives and reduce suffering

Road traffic crashes are not just a highway safety problem—they are a public health problem. With over a million people killed each year on the world’s roads, and tens of millions more injured, road traffic crashes are a leading cause of death and the ninth leading cause of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) lost worldwide. By 2020, road traffic injuries are projected to become the third leading cause of DALYs. This is all the more tragic because we could prevent so many of these deaths, so many of these injuries, and so much of this suffering.

In the United States, road traffic injuries accounted for more than 42 000 deaths in 2002 and almost three million non-fatal injuries.1 They are the leading cause of death for people ages 1–34 years and the leading cause of injury related death. The cost of motor vehicle crashes exceeded $230 billion in 2000.2 The United States has the most motor vehicles per capita of any country in the world (765 motor vehicles per 1000 population).3 Therefore, we had to begin addressing the problem of road traffic safety many …

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