Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

World unites to halt death and injury on roads



Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 set to save millions of lives

The  WHO Global Plan for The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 includes links to programs, publications, events, and more by a voluntary consultative process of partners. These partners include governments, international agencies, the private sector, and others.

[The editor was in a road accident back in her Peace Corps Liberia West Africa days, truck overturned and rolled over several times down a rather steep embankment. Very fortunately neither the driver, my colleague, or myself was seriously injured. However, my right leg ended up outside the vehicle, and underneath the truck. Nothing was broken, but I had 35 or so stitches in my leg because of shattered glass… Accident happened late at night on dirt road, driver had swerved to avoid oncoming car which was speeding in the center of the road…No ambulances up country…luckily a bus stopped…passengers got out, helped us in bus..and they turned around and drove back to town…to the hospital..t was the second time that night that this bus had stopped at an accident scene and transported people to the local hospital]

The Decade of Action link includes social media options (as Facebook and Twitter), advocacy and press materials, and highlighted publications.

From the World Health Organization (WHO) press release

6 MAY 2011 | GENEVA – On 11 May, dozens of countries around the world kick off the first global Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. From New Zealand to Mexico and the Russian Federation to South Africa, governments are committing to take new steps to save lives on their roads. The Decade seeks to prevent road traffic deaths and injuries which experts project will take the lives of 1.9 million people annually by 2020.

To mark the launch of the Decade, governments in countries such as Australia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, the Philippines, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam will host high-profile events and release national plans to improve safety and services for victims. A number of landmark national monuments will be illuminated with the road safety “tag”, the new symbol for the Decade. These include Times Square in New York City; Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro; Trafalgar Square in London; and the Jet d’Eau in Geneva, among others.

Curbing a growing health and development problem

“Today countries and communities are taking action vital to saving lives on our streets and highways” said WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “Road traffic crashes are a growing health and development concern affecting all nations, and the Decade offers a framework for an intensified response.”

Road traffic injuries have become the leading killer of young people aged 15–29 years. Almost 1.3 million people die each year on the world’s roads, making this the ninth leading cause of death globally. In addition to these deaths, road crashes cause between 20 million and 50 million non-fatal injuries every year. In many countries, emergency care and other support services for road traffic victims are inadequate. These avoidable injuries overload already stretched health services.

Global plan to improve the safety of roads and vehicles

“None of us should have to bear the grief and devastation caused by a road traffic crash” said Dr Etienne Krug, WHO Director of the Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability. “The steps outlined in the Global Plan for the Decade are immediately doable, and will do much to spare the suffering of so many.”

The Global Plan outlines steps towards improving the safety of roads and vehicles; enhancing emergency services; and building up road safety management generally. It also calls for increased legislation and enforcement on using helmets, seat-belts and child restraints and avoiding drinking and driving and speeding. Today only 15% of countries have comprehensive laws which address all of these factors.

Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists collectively represent almost half of those killed on the world’s roads….

Click here to read the rest of the press release

Vaccine for Road Safety

 

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May 12, 2011 Posted by | Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Kids Can’t Accurately Judge Speed of Approaching Cars: Study

From a November 30, 2010 Health Day news item by Robert Preidt

HealthDay news image

Young children can’t tell the speed of a vehicle 5 seconds away and moving faster than 20 mph

TUESDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) — Primary school children cannot accurately estimate the speed of approaching vehicles moving faster than 20 miles per hour, finds a new study.

“This is not a matter of children not paying attention, but a problem related to low-level visual detection mechanisms,” John Wann, lead researcher and a professor in the department of psychology at Royal Holloway College, University of London, said in a university news release.

“So even when children are paying very close attention, they may fail to detect a fast-approaching vehicle,” Wann warned….

….

“These findings provide strong evidence that children may make risky crossing judgments when vehicles are traveling at 30 or 40 mph,” Wann said.

“In addition, the vehicles that they are more likely to step in front of are the faster vehicles that are more likely to result in a fatality,” he added.

“Traveling one mile through a residential area at 20 mph versus 30 mph will only add 60 seconds to your journey time — we encourage drivers to take a minute and save a child’s life,” Wann said.

The study findings were released online Nov. 23 in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal Psychological Science.


December 2, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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