A social impact investment lens on reducing costs of road trauma and unlocking capital for road safety

Published: 16 July 2015

More than three thousand preventable deaths and many thousands of serious injuries from road trauma occur every day. 

More than 1.2 million people currently die on the world’s roads each year, with an estimated cost of 2–3% of global GDP. 

The toll is highest in developing countries, where new motorisation is rapid and more than ninety percent of fatalities occur. The social and economic consequences are so significant that road safety has been recognised in the United Nations (UN) sponsored Decade of Action for Road Safety and the draft Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a priority public health issue. The actions needed to improve road safety are well understood: build safer roads, improve vehicle safety, reduce speeds and encourage safe road user behaviour. But there are major gaps in capacity to deliver the elements for safety in many countries and, critically, in the evidence base that can unlock those elements at scale.

The focus of this paper is to set those foundations for how funding and finance can be directed more consistently to creating safe systems. 

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