In 2013 alone, the World Health Organization estimated worldwide traffic deaths to be 1.25 million. The bulk of this number was made up of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle operators as they have inadequate protection while using the roads. Traffic-related fatalities are especially common in developing countries because of lax regulations and weak enforcement of existing laws. Libya more than doubles any other nation in road injury-related mortality rates. Top countries high traffic-related death rates include:
Libya has the highest traffic related mortalities at 73 for every 100,000 people. Over-Speeding is a major contributor to the high statistics. Drivers in Libya have a culture of not wearing seatbelts and are inclined to recklessness. Inadequate bumps in roads and blatant disregard for zebra-crossings by drivers in Libya cause many deaths to pedestrians. Roads are also not well maintained in Libya and expose travelers to potential accidents. Drivers often drive faulty cars with poor maintenance record. Defective tires and brakes often lead to road accidents.
Driver training in Libya is not effective, and many drivers on the road are not aware of most of the existing traffic laws. All these factors make Libya’s roads dangerous to drive, cycle or walk on.
Thailand has the second-highest rates of traffic related mortalities at 36 per 100,000 people. Increased urbanization has led to a population boom in Thailand’s cities. These cities are now subject to large volumes of traffic and are inadequately maintained coupled with poorly marked road signs. Collisions between vehicles are a common scenario in Thailand. Motorbike operators and cyclists are especially vulnerable in Thailand’s roads due to lack of initiative of safety precautions such as wearing helmets and reflective jackets.
Reckless and Intoxication while driving are a common behavior among vehicle operators in Thailand. Despite the existence of laws that criminalize drunken driving, they have not been widely enforced, and drivers who drive while intoxicated often get away with their behavior. The situation is worsened by wealthy people paying their way out of drunk-driving offenses. Driving while drunk is a typical culture in Thailand, and causes many road accidents.
Malawi is an African country with a traffic related mortality rate of 35 per 100,000 people. Most of the roads in Malawi are in extremely poor state and are inadequately or not lit. The poor conditions of Malawi’s roads are a major cause of traffic accidents. Driving in Malawi is widely considered an uphill task. The situation is further worsened by plenty of faulty vehicles on the roads. Driving at night is particularly hazardous because of the presence of vehicles without lighting that is likely to cause collisions. Drunk-driving is also a contributor to the high rate of traffic fatalities.
Vehicle operators are poorly trained and are declared to be qualified without having received adequate information. Refresher courses for drivers are not compulsory in Malawi. Inadequate knowledge makes drivers less likely to follow regulations.
Liberia has the fourth highest rate of traffic-related mortalities at 34 in every 100,000 people. Most of these fatalities are attributed to reckless driving by the drivers. Most of the roads in Liberia have poor maintenance while some have been destroyed by rain and expose motorists to the accident. Most of the roads also lack essential markings such as the speed limit and street lighting to guide drivers. Public vehicles in Liberia have poor maintenance and carry more passengers and goods than the accepted limit. Corruption enables traffic offenders to get away without punishment and encourages more recklessness.
Other Countries With High Rates Of Highway Accident Deaths
Other countries with high rates of traffic deaths for every 100,000 people are DR Congo (33), Tanzania (33), Central African Republic (32), Rwanda (32), Iran (32), and Mozambique (32). Most of these countries are low-income and middle- income countries characterized by poorly maintained roads, badly maintained vehicles, and lax traffic laws and regulations. However, most of these countries have ramped up efforts to curb the high traffic mortality rates, sometimes in collaboration with developed countries or non-governmental organizations. Such efforts include building or expanding roads to ease traffic jams, country wide training on highway safety and criminalizing drunk-driving.