While global traffic deaths have been on an increase, some countries have very low rates of highway deaths. Countries with low rates of road traffic deaths are mostly the developed countries with an efficient transport system. Countries with low traffic mortalities are mainly characterized by strict enforcement of traffic laws, use of safer designs in vehicles, different lanes for pedestrians and cyclists, and low-speed limits, especially in urban areas. Countries with the lowest rates of traffic deaths in the world are:
Countries With the Lowest Rates of Highway Traffic Deaths in the World
Known for its Grand Pix automobile races, Monaco is interestingly in possession of the lowest traffic mortality rates at 0 for every 100,000 people. The public transport system in Monaco is heavily monitored such that proposed transport infrastructures are evaluated to ensure they meet safety standards for both pedestrians and vehicle operators. There exist drunk-driving and helmet laws in Monaco that are enforced and have been effective in preventing accidents. The Urban speed limit is at 70km/h to prevent speeding. Monaco is a small sovereign city/nation in France. Registered vehicles in Monaco are low in number compared to other countries and lowers traffic accidents’ risks.
Despite Micronesia not having well-developed roads and traffic legislation, it records traffic deaths as low as 1.9 per 100,000 people. Micronesia is a small country comprising of islands. Some of the small islands do not have vehicles and have a very low population. More developed and larger islands such as Pohnpei record extremely low rates of fatalities. One of the reasons for this number is a low number of vehicles compared to other countries. Micronesia is a small country with low population, and this decreases risks of traffic accidents than other countries.
Sweden records 2.8 deaths per 100,000 people. Sweden is also ranked as having one of the safest transport systems. Pedestrians have zones which protect them from vehicles. Cyclists’ zones are separated by barriers with the main roads. A low-speed limit has been set in urban areas to curb speeding and recklessness. There are stringent laws for drunk-driving that are heavily enforced all over the country. Speed bumps and zebra crossings with aggressive lighting further protect pedestrians from accidents caused by speeding. All these factors make traffic accidents a rare occurrence in Sweden.
Kiribati has a low number of traffic death rates at 2.9 for every 100,000 people. Kiribati is a confederation of islands and has a low population. The low population translates to a low number of cars compared to other densely populated countries. The speed limit in Kiribati’s urban areas is at 40 km/h which is effective in curbing speeding. Drunk-driving and drug-driving are criminal offenses in Kiribati, and there exist laws to enforce the wearing of seatbelts.
The Rest of the World Lags Well Behind In Road Safety
In the United States, the road traffic death rate stood at 10.6 highway deaths per 100,000 people annually while Canada has a traffic death rate of 6.0 per 100,000 people. While much worse than European norms, these did not even approach those of the world’s highest rates, where annual traffic deaths in excess of 30 occurrences per 100,000 people are registered. Thailand has the highest death rate at 36.2, with Malawi following closely behind with 35.0 deaths per 100,000 people. Many of the victims are often cyclists or pedestrians, who are using the same highways and byways as motor vehicles are. Increased recognition of non-motorists’ rights on the road may therefore go a long way in reducing highway fatalities worldwide, as will better drivers’ education initiatives and more stringently enforced vehicle safety regulations.