Road-traffic injuries: confronting disparities to address a global-health problem

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Evidence suggests that the present and projected global burden of road-traffic injuries is disproportionately borne by countries that can least afford to meet the health service, economic, and societal challenges posed. Although the evidence base on which these estimates are made remains somewhat precarious in view of the limited data systems in most low-income and middle-income countries (as per the classification on the World Bank website), these projections highlight the essential need to address road-traffic injuries as a public-health priority. Most well-evaluated effective interventions do not directly focus on efforts to protect vulnerable road users, such as motorcyclists and pedestrians. Yet, these groups comprise the majority of road-traffic victims in low-income and middle-income countries, and consequently, the majority of the road-traffic victims globally. Appropriately responding to these disparities in available evidence and prevention efforts is necessary if we are to comprehensively address this global-health dilemma.

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