For years, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the organization Youth for Road Safety (YOURS), which the WHO helped set up in 2009, have noted that more young people between 15 and 29 around the world die every year in traffic accidents than from HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, or homicide. Hardly anything has changed to this day. Although the total numbers of people in this age group either killed or seriously injured in road traffic have fallen over the years, they are still well above the average for the other age groups per 100,000 or one million inhabitants. Young people are mostly involved in accidents as passengers in cars and on motorcycles.
The risks, whether taken consciously or unconsciously, are well known. Excessive speed, overconfidence, the influence of alcohol and drugs, and distractions are just as important here as not wearing a seat belt and riding a (motor)bike without a helmet. If novice drivers in particular are also driving on smaller roads in non-built-up areas with tighter bend radii – perhaps at the wheel of an older vehicle with technical defects – the risk of an accident is increased many times over.
In order to take effective countermeasures which are sustainable over the long-term, major efforts from the parties concerned are necessary. Vehicle technology, road infrastructure, legislation, traffic controls, road safety education with accompanying campaigns, driving instruction, and further measures when it comes to prevention and minimizing the outcomes of accidents are all crucial factors. The periodic vehicle inspection must also not be forgotten, so as to ensure the good working order of mechanical and electronic components of vehicle safety systems. Despite all these measures, the individual concerned has the greatest influence on the possible occurrence of an accident, and this will remain the case for the foreseeable future.