Status of Road Safety in the Region of the Americas
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
World Health Organization Regional Office of the Americas
This report is a Road Safety report for the Latin America region and does not focus on vision. This is an updated report from the previous 2016 on Road Safety in the Americas. The Vision Impact Institute is working with global organizations to include the importance of vision as part of the discussion on future studies related to road safety and drivers.
Road traffic crashes caused 154,997 deaths in 2016,1 1,283 more deaths than in 2013. Despite the increased availability and promotion of information, knowledge, and policy recommendations on road safety, little has changed since the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) published its previous report on road safety three years ago.
The mortality rate from road traffic crashes remains stable (15.9 per 100,000 population in 2013 vs. 15.6 per 100,000 population in 2016).
Beyond these preventable tragic deaths, there are many more thousands of people who suffer injuries from road traffic crashes that cause temporary or permanent disabilities.
The main victims of road traffic deaths continue to be young men under 29 years of age. The most vulnerable road users continue to be heavily affected: pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists. Some 35,000 deaths among motorcyclists occurred in 2016, surpassing the number of pedestrian deaths.
This represents an increase in the proportion of motorcycle deaths from 20% in 2013, to 23% in 2016. One of the reasons for this increase in motorcycle deaths is that the development of urban transport infrastructures in Latin America has not kept pace with the rapid growth of cities and urban populations. This has resulted in limited public transportation options and an alarming lack of safe mobility in many cities.
The countries of the Americas must continue to scale up multisector road safety measures that include safe roads and infrastructure, public transportation for all, appropriate laws and regulations, and reinforce transportation policies and oversight agencies to ensure proper enforcement to protect all citizens.