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WHO: Gender And Road Traffic Injuries

The World Health Organisation has produced a factsheet on the relative incidence of road traffic injuries and mortality which indicates that road injury rates are highly gendered.

Gender and Road Traffic Injuries


Globally, almost three times (2.7) as many males
as compared to females die from road traffic injuries...

This factsheet (published 2002) provides a summary of road traffic injuries and fatalities from across the world, compiled by the World Health Organisation.

It lays out the rates of mortality and injury through road traffic incidents by gender and shows that 2.7 times more males than females die from road traffic injuries worldwide.

There are many reasons for this which are consistent with the broad rates of males suffering from a higher rate of injury and mortality through accidents than females.

Implications For Programs and Policies

  • In light of findings to date, countries may examine the feasibility and effectiveness in terms of injury prevention, of legislative measures for graduated licensing, a higher age for licensing and for consumption of alcohol for males, and a policy of zero-tolerance for drinking and driving.
  • Policy measures and interventions with a specific focus on vulnerable road users in low and middle income countries need to be developed and piloted.
  • Interventions which challenge gender-role stereotyping of males as high risk takers and foster safe health practices, need to be designed and tested in a variety of settings. These need to be targeted principally at school-age children and adolescents of both sexes, but should involve older men and women as well, so that there is a supportive environment for boys and men adopting safer and non-risk taking behaviour.
  • Positive behavioural changes may be best achieved through community based approaches which allow injury prevention messages to be repeated in different forms and contexts.
  • Strategies for financing and organising the delivery of injury and trauma services need to be aware of gender differences in ability to access and to pay for health services for acute care as well as for rehabilitation.
  • Gender differences in the social and economic consequences of temporary and/or permanent disability resulting from injury have to be taken into account when planning rehabilitation services.

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