WHO on road accidents: These are preventable tragedies

MANILA-- Citing that about 900 individuals in the Western Pacific region die daily due to road traffic accidents and mishaps, the World Health Organization (WHO) insisted that they can be prevented.

In a statement issued for the Global Road Safety Week, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr. Shin Young-soo lamented how many lives were adversely affected by road accidents.

"Each one of these deaths is a tragedy that could and should have been prevented," said Shin.

He added that even those who survive horrible crashes often end up with lifelong disability which then make them unable to work or care for themselves.

As a result, this can drain family budget and limit chances to be productive and achieve prosperity.

He further pointed out that road traffic injuries and deaths are not 'accidents' because they can be prevented.

He likewise cited that road traffic deaths and injuries can also cause burden to the national health systems and entail economic costs.

"Road traffic injuries cost some low- and middle-income countries as much as five percent of their gross national product," said Shin.

"Like other serious health issues, the poorest and most vulnerable are at greatest risk and the most affected by road traffic injuries," said Shin.

In line with this, WHO called on all stakeholders to give importance on road safety by letting individual motorists and the government to be aware of their roles in preventing road accidents.

Among them are reminding motorists to slow down while on the road in order to avoid road traffic crashes.

"If every vehicle on every road slowed down even a little, there would be fewer crashes -- and certainly fewer serious injuries and deaths," Shin added.

The government on the other hand must impose better speed management policies in a bid to encourage more people to slow down.

The United Nations Global Road Safety Week is observed from May 8 to May 14.

Source: Philippines News Agency