Driver health and traffic safety: An overview November 20, 2017 From the book Drugs, Driving and Traffic Safety, edited by Joris C. Verster, S. R. Pandi-Perumal, Johannes G. Ramaekers, Johan J. de Gier. This overview written by Henry J. Moller: Road safety has emerged as a major public health and preventative medicine challenge of the twenty-first century. The World Health Organization (WHO) World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention estimates that 1.2 million people are killed in road traffic crashes each year and up to 50 million more are injured or disabled. Projections of future traffic fatalities suggest that the global road death toll will grow by approximately 66% over the next twenty years. This estimate, however, reflects divergent rates of change in different parts of the world; the road death rate is projected to decline by close to 30% to less than 1 per 10,000 in high-income countries, and rise to approximately 2 per 10,000 persons in developing countries by 2020 (with an expected rise in fatalities of close to 92% in China and 147% in India). Factors playing a role in this trend include an exponential growth of motorized traffic density in driving environments lacking safe road design, differential access to timely medical care for traffic injuries, lack of education and enforcement of safety regulations, and a public culture in many countries that does not specifically highlight personal and collective responsibility for safety.