|Volume 6 Issue 97 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 6-Apr-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 7-Apr-2004||Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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Motor vehicle crashes claim more than a million lives worldwide
Throughout the world, more than a million people die each year because of transportation-related crashes. To highlight this problem that crosses national boundaries and threatens the safety and health of people worldwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is joining forces with the World Health Organization (WHO), other U.S. federal agencies, and public health and transportation partners for World Health Day 2004 on 7 April.
In the United States, nearly 44,000 people die each year from transportation-related crashes and the price society pays is considerable. For the United States in 2000, motor vehicle-related medical costs exceeded $21 billion, accounting for almost 20 percent of all medical costs attributed to injuries. While there have been great strides to confront the public health problems of road traffic safety and injuries, there needs to be increased awareness that there are ways to prevent these deaths and injuries.
“America is a very mobile society, but we pay a price. Every hour almost five people die in the United States because of vehicle crashes,” said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. “Let us re-energize our efforts on World Health Day and encourage people to choose health and safety – as they drive to school and work, as they run errands or drive on the job, and as they pursue leisure activities – by wearing seat belts, honoring speed limits, and not drinking and driving.”
Each year, the WHO designates a critical public health issue as the focus of World Health Day. This year marks the first time in WHO’s history that world-wide road safety and prevention efforts will be highlighted. The CDC public health theme for this year’s event is “Family Road Safety: Protect the Ones You Love.” Key public health and transportation partners will be among hundreds of organizations working to raise awareness that these types of traffic related injuries and deaths can be prevented.
Here are several public health highlights for “Family Road Safety: Protect the Ones You Love.”