Volvo addresses global safety inequality

Volvo Cars calls on governments and regulators around the world to address a large inequality in road safety between developed and developing economies. Despite progress made in recent decades, official data shows a significant gap in the number of traffic fatalities between both categories of countries.

Each year, an estimated 1.35 million people lose their lives in traffic accidents. That number alone underlines the need for action, but data by the World Health Organisation (WHO) also shows that the risk of road traffic death is more than three times higher in developing countries than in developed countries.

In order to improve global road safety, Volvo Cars believes countries should promote safety belt usage by introducing and enforcing seatbelt laws covering both front and rear seats. Basic road infrastructure that keeps vulnerable road users separate from motorised traffic should be another key focus area.

Volvo Cars’ call for action comes as the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, hosted by Sweden and the WHO, starts in Stockholm this week. At the conference, delegates from more than 80 United Nations member states will discuss the future strategic direction for global road safety up to 2030 and beyond.

“Global data shows that there is a significant inequality in road safety,” said Malin Ekholm, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre. “Those safety gaps need to be addressed through technology, but also by creating and enhancing a global safety culture. We need to understand and address the variation in seatbelt usage, while infrastructure should focus on improving the safety of vulnerable road users, pedestrians and cyclists.”