U.S. and Russia team up to reduce global traffic related deaths

President Barack Obama tours Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's office outside Moscow, Russia

Officials from the United States and Russia said Wednesday that they will join forces to crack down on the increasing toll of road deaths worldwide, which currently stands at 1.3 million deaths annually. During an event at the Russian Embassy in Washington, both U.S. and Russian officials said that they will work together to improve worldwide auto safety.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that traffic related deaths, and the estimated 50 million injured worldwide in crashes, now cost around $518 billion on an annual basis. Road deaths account for 2.2 percent of all deaths worldwide coming in ninth among all causes of death. The WHO predicts that traffic crashes may climb to the fifth leading cause of death globally by 2030.

Earlier this year, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2011-2020 a decade of action for road safety. The effort was backed by more than 100 countries that pledged to set speed limits, reduce drunken driving and enforce the use of seat belts.

WHO says that if there is no action taken, traffic related deaths could rise to 2.4 million and 100 million could be injured by 2030.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Detroit News
Image Source: Pete Souza