We honor the victims of road traffic crashes with a “World Day of Remembrance” on the third Sunday of November.

Road traffic crashes are the second leading cause of death globally among young people ages 5-to-29 years. They are the third leading cause of death among people ages 30-to-44 years. Road traffic crashes kill 1.2 million people every year and injure or disable as many as 50 million more.

The Faces of Tragedy

Whether it’s in Milton or Manila, Plattsburgh or Pretoria, behind each statistic there is a story. The story of a parent, child, sibling, grandchild, colleague, classmate, or friend whose life was forever changed by the death or serious injury of someone they loved in a road crash.

The World Health Organization tells these stories in a publication called Faces behind the figures: voices of road traffic crash victims and their families.

Road Traffic Fatalities: The Three Biggest Cases

According to the US National Safety Council (NSC), the three biggest causes of fatalities on our roads are:

  • Speed
  • Impairment
  • Distracted driving

The NSC suggests taking sensible precautions. These include:

  • Avoiding distractions
  • Buckling up on every ride
  • Never driving impaired

These can help everyone defy the odds. Together, we can make dying in a car crash unacceptable.

In the words of Catalin and Catalina Popescu, the brother-in-law and sister-in-law of someone who died in a car crash: “In every car on the road there is an individual human life that deserves to be respected and honored. Driving safely is not only a civic responsibility but also a duty we are obligated to fulfill to our fellow human beings.”

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