Road traffic collisions – the global problem
Currently estimated to be the ninth leading cause of death across all age groups globally, road traffic collisions lead to the loss of over 1.2 million lives and cause nonfatal injuries to as many as 50 million people around the world each year. Nearly half (49%) of the people who die on the world’s roads are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Road traffic collisions are the main cause of death among people aged between 15 and 29 years.
Click here for an Interactive world ‘road deaths’ map – from the World Health Organization (or see image below)
In addition to the grief and suffering they cause, road traffic collisions constitute an important public health and development problem with significant health and socioeconomic costs. Considerable economic losses are not only incurred by victims and their families, but also by nations as a whole: road crashes cost most countries 1–3% of their gross national product.
The unfortunate reality is that even with the great work being carried out by numerous organisations globally to reduce road deaths and injuries is that there will be times when these terrible accidents still occur and we at IRRTC believe that we can make an impact in supporting rescue responder’s worldwide in reducing the impact of these incidents by providing expert training in both their medical and technical response capabilities.
Care at the scene of an accident
Whilst data is limited, the proportion of patients who die before reaching hospital in low- and middle-income countries is estimated as at least twice that in high-income countries, suggesting that strengthening pre-hospital systems could have enormous global impact in reducing fatalities.
Timely and effective emergency care is an essential component of a safe system and can mitigate the consequences when a crash does occur, reducing both deaths and disability from injury.
Trauma and technical rescue training packages are also essential for preventing avoidable additional injuries which can be sustained during the rescue phase of operations and also preventing deterioration of casualties on scene from injuries sustained during impact before definitive medical care is reached.