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Motorcycle Accidents

WHO: motorcycle accidents threaten youth healthtypk.jpg space.gif 2007-04-19 16:06:51
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    MANILA, April 19 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) said here on Thursday with a report that deaths and disabilities resulting from motorcycle accidents involving youngsters have become a worldwide health hazard.

    Young motorcyclists make up a significant percentage of injuries and fatalities among road users, particularly in low and medium-income countries, the WHO Office of West Pacific Region based in Manila said in the report.

    Factors such as speed, no helmets, risk-taking behavior and drink-driving contribute to the rising trend, the WHO said.

    In low and medium-income countries, "vulnerable road users" including motorcyclists make up a larger proportion of those injured or killed than the rest of the world, the report said.

    In these countries, helmets are rarely used, partly because of their cost and partly because of a lack of helmets for young passengers, the WHO said. On the other hand, many countries do not strictly enforce laws covering the use of helmets, it added.

    The WHO report indicated that most motorcycle deaths are a result of head injuries. While wearing a helmet correctly can cut the risk of death by almost 40 percent, and the risk of severe injury by 72 percent.

    Every day, some 1,000 people under the age of 25 years are killed in road accidents worldwide, and 85 percent occur in low and medium-income countries, according to the WHO statistics.

    The WHO study is a prelude to the First United Nations Global Road Safety Week, dedicated to "youth and road safety," from April 23 to 29. To coincide with the event, WHO released the Report on Youth and Road Safety, which calls for greater political will and for more financial investment in safety on the road.

Editor: Wang Yan

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