Reduction of pedestrian death rates: A missed global target

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The UN Decade of Action for Road Safety aimed to reduce road traffic deaths by half by year 2020. We aimed to study risk factors affecting global pedestrian death rates overtime, and whether the defined target of its reduction by WHO has been achieved. Methods: The studied variables were retrieved from the WHO Global Status Reports on Road Safety published over 2010-2018. These covered years 2007-2016 and included the estimated road traffic death rates per 100,000 population, policies to promote walking and cycling, enforcement levels of national speed limits, the gross national income per capita and the vehicle/person ratio in each country. A mixed linear model was performed to define the factors affecting the change of pedestrian death rates overtime. Results: Global pedestrian mortality decreased by 28% over 10 years. This was significant between years 2007 and 2010 (p = 0.034), between years 2013 and 2016 (p = 0.002) but not between 2010 and 2013 (p = 0.06). Factors that reduced pedestrian death rates included time (p < 0.0001), GNI (p < 0.0001), and vehicle/person ratio (p < 0.0001). There was a significant drop overtime in both the middle-income, and high-income countries (p < 0.0001, Friedman test), but not in the low-income countries (p = 0.35, Friedman test). Conclusions: Global pedestrian mortality has dropped by 28% over a recent decade, which is less than the 50% targeted reduction. This was mainly driven by improved GNI and using more vehicles. The economical gap between poor and rich countries has a major impact on pedestrian death rates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number35
JournalWorld Journal of Emergency Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 19 2020


  • Death
  • Global
  • Pedestrian
  • Road safety
  • Road traffic collision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine


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