Road safety is often misrepresented in the media or more often than not, given little to no attention although so many people are affected by road crashes. Every day around the world, 3400 people die in road traffic crashes. Lives are dramatically changed in a matter of seconds. While the crash events themselves often become news, the full stories behind these incidents – the who, why, how, and how could these have been avoided – are not often well developed.
But road traffic deaths and injuries can be prevented.
The United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 highlights the experiences mainly – but not exclusively – from high-income countries which point to concrete, effective interventions for changing how people behave on the roads and improving roads, vehicles and emergency care systems. In the context of the Decade of Action, efforts are being made to take these experiences to low- and middle-income countries where rapid motorization is evident and where more than 90% of road traffic deaths occur.

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Lagos traffic

We know that far too many people die unnecessarily on the world’s roads, even in high-income countries, and we know how to avoid this, but this knowledge, unfortunately, makes its way into the news only on rare occasions. The aim of this guide is to change that.
This guide, Reporting on Road Safety: A Guide for Journalists offers information on stories, suggestions for new angles, descriptions of projects, and tips from editors, journalists and public health experts to enhance reporting on road safety.
In the guide, reporters will find new angles, examples of stories and projects from around the world, and tips from editors, reporters and public health experts.

We look forward to seeing more and more in-depth stories on road safety in the media soon and to witnessing a new era of road safety journalism focused on solutions and on saving lives.

Dr Etienne Krug, Director
Department for Management of Noncommunicable
Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention
World Health Organization