Road traffic crashes and injuries are responsible for the majority of morbidity and mortality caused by all types of injuries. Each and every year about 1.3 million people are killed and 20–50 million suffer moderate to severe injuries due to road traffic crashes.
In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, Road traffic injury is a major threat to the health and development in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Road traffic injuries are the sixth leading cause of disease burden in the Region, resulting in an estimated 150 000 deaths and 2.8 million non-fatal injuries annually. Modelling exercises show that high-income and middle-income countries of the Region have the highest road traffic injury fatality rates in the world, along with the African Region (32 per 100 000 population, up from 26.4 per 100 000 in 2002).
The road traffic injury death rate in the Region among men in the age group between 15 and 29 years is highest in the world (34.2 deaths per 100 000 population). Road traffic injuries also have significant economic costs (1%–1.5% of gross national product), disproportionately affecting the poor and the vulnerable segments of society (pedestrians, public transport users, motorcyclists and cyclists).