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Global road accidents up, deaths down: data

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Paris (AFP)

Road accidents have become more frequent but less deadly over the last 30 years as developing nations transition to more stable economies, according to a global injury and death analysis released Thursday.

In 2017, the latest year for which complete data is available, 54 million people were injured in crashes, leading to 1.2 million deaths, said the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which releases annual assessments of causes of death and injury.

It found that those most likely to be injured in collisions were men aged 25-29, and that accident rates among that demographic were twice as common as among women of the same age.

While the global likelihood of being killed in a car crash has decreased since 1990, in five countries -- Central African Republic, Jamaica, Somalia, Swaziland and the United Arab Emirates -- the risk of death has increased.

Spencer James, senior author of the IHME study, said a number of factors, including vehicle and road safety, as well as proper enforcement of speeding, seatbelt and alcohol laws, contributed to the lower mortality rates.

"It's encouraging to find improvements globally in road injury mortality over the past three decades, though there is still considerable progress to be made since road injuries should be considered preventable," he said.

The global rate of road injuries for all age groups increased more than 15 percent between 1990-2017.

The probability of dying from a road injury is highest in Haiti (15.6 percent injured in collisions), CAR (10.4 percent) and El Salvador (7.3 percent), the IHME data showed.

China ranked the highest globally for total number of road deaths in 2017 with more than 261,000. Per capita road deaths were relatively low, however.

The data was published in the journal BMJ Injury Prevention.

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