“More people now die as a result of road traffic injuries than from HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and diarrhoea,” says the 2018 World Health Organisation Global Status Report on Road Safety in its first chapter, titled, The Global Burden of Road Traffic Death.
With an average rate of 27.5 deaths per 100,000 population, the report says the risk is more than three times higher in low income countries than in high income countries where the average rate is 8.3 deaths per 100,000 population. The burden of road traffic deaths is disproportionately high among low and middle income countries in relation to the size of their population and the number of vehicles in circulation.
“There has been no reduction in the number of road traffic deaths in any low income country since 2013. They (low income countries) have only one per cent of the world’s motor vehicles but 13 per cent of deaths occur in these countries,” the report adds.
The 2018 Uganda Police Annual Crime Report indicated that the accident severity index stood at 28.8. One year later, the Uganda Police Annual Crime Report 2019 that was released on April 28, 2020 indicates that the severity index is now at 30 while that of 2017 indicated that the severity index stood at 24. The reports define severity index as the number of persons killed per 100 crashes. This means that out of every 100 road crashes, 24 road users in 2017, 28 in 2018 and 30 in 2019, died respectively.
Road users killed in road crashes
Worryingly, among many of the unfortunate offences that you need to be concerned about that the 2017, 2018 and 2019 reports share in common is that pedestrians and motorcyclists constitute the biggest percentage of road crash deaths.
For instance, in 2017, 1,319 pedestrians and 918 motorcyclists were killed while 1,424 pedestrians and 878 motorcyclists were killed later in 2018. In 2019, the number of pedestrians who were killed rose to 1,485 and that of motorcyclists rose to 1,064.
Overall, in 2017, the number of people who died due to road crashes were 3,500 and 3,689 in 2018. In the latest report of 2019, 3,880 people died in road crashes, indicating a 5.2 percentage increase from 2018.
The 2017 annual police crime report indicated that a total of 10,420 people were seriously injured and those who were seriously injured in 2018 were 9,539. In 2019, those seriously injured were 9,635. All these are categorised under drivers of vehicles, motorcyclists, pedal cyclists, passengers in vehicles and pedestrians.