Child and Adolescent Road Safety in South Asia

The scale of road injuries among children and adolescents, and proposed courses of action

Road Safety
P. Virot/WHO


Low to lower-middle income nations bear 78 per cent of child road traffic injuries. Conversely, high-income countries, with robust safety measures, account for just 3 per cent. This report outlines South Asia's status, country profiles, assessment tools, and guidance for effective action under the Safe Systems framework regarding child and adolescent road injuries.

In 2019, injuries accounted for at least 9 per cent of the 12.2 million deaths in South Asia, with approximately a quarter attributed to road traffic collisions. Among children and adolescents, 171,468 died from injuries, with 29,859 due to road traffic collisions, the primary cause of injury-related death alongside drowning. The overall road traffic death rate was 6 per 100,000 population, though Afghanistan reported rates exceeding 16 per 100,000. The region lost 2.5 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) due to such collisions among those under 20. With over 708 million children and adolescents in South Asia, urgent governmental action is imperative, given the substantial economic impact, estimated to be billions of US dollars or 0.3 to 7.5 per cent of GDP.

Child and Adolescent Road Safety in South Asia
Margie Peden, Jane Elkington and Pratishtha Singh of The George Institute for Global Health
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