WORLD DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR ROAD TRAFFIC VICTIMS
Every third Sunday in November, the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) seeks to remember the millions of lives lost or injured due to road crashes. The day is also held to pay tribute to emergency responders and medical professionals. These people deal with the trauma of road death and injury on a daily basis.
According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) nearly 1.25 million people around the world die in road crashes each year. This equals 3,287 deaths a day. India has the highest number of road deaths, followed by China and the United States.
Road crashes cause up to 50 million people a day to become injured or disabled. Road crashes are the leading cause of death for those between 15 and 29. Besides affecting people’s lives, road crashes are also very costly. Low and middle-income countries pay $65 billion a year to cover the costs associated with road crashes.
Some of the leading causes of road crashes that result in death or injury include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Reckless driving
- Inclement weather
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Night driving
- Drowsy driving
- Animal crossings
In many of the above cases, road crashes are completely preventable. It’s not difficult to reduce the number of road crashes. All it takes is for individuals to drive more responsibly and the government to enforce traffic laws. Car manufacturers can do their part as well by improving safety features on the vehicles they make.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WDR
On this day, countries around the world hold candlelight vigils to remember the lives lost in road crashes. Conferences, religious services, tree plantings, concerts, exhibitions, and other gatherings are held on this day.
This is an easy day to observe each and every day. All you need to do is drive responsibly and do your part to prevent road crashes. Always obey traffic laws. If you have teens in your home, talk to them about driving safely. This includes never texting or talking on the phone while driving. Thank an emergency responder or medical professional who treats car accident victims. Many people who lost loved ones in a road crash place a memorial at the site of the accident.
This is a good day to do that. Use #WDR when sharing on social media.
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was initiated by the UK’s RoadPeace Founder in 1993. It was first promoted as the European Day for Remembrance. When NGOs from South Africa, Argentina, and Israel wanted to participate, it was changed to World Day. Thanks to support from the World Health Organization, World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was adopted by the UN in 2005.