WHO report names the most dangerous countries to drive in
20 August 2009

The deadliest place to travel by road is the African state of Eritrea, accoridng to the World Health Organisation's first report on global road safety.

According to the WHO figures, there were an estimated 48 deaths per 100,000 people in the former Italian colony in 2007, a world record.

As in most countries, the number of men killed through road accidents vastly outstripped that of women, in Eritrea's case by three-to-one — the same ratio as in Britain.

The only other country to come close to Eritrea's record was the Cook Islands, with 45 deaths per 100,000 people. The tiny South Pacific nation has a population of just 13,325, five of whom died in road accidents in 2007.

Next up were Egypt (41.6) and Libya (40.5). Britain records 5.4 deaths per 100,000 people, making it about as safe as the Netherlands and marginally safer than Germany (6) and France (7.5).

The safest country was the Marshall Islands, whose 59,000 inhabitants own just 2487 vehicles and suffered just one fatal traffic accident.

The country with the most cars — the United States, with more than 251 million vehicles between 306 million people — suffered 13.9 fatalities per 100,000 people, about the same as Azerbaijan, Turkey and Sri Lanka.

According to the WHO report, about 1.3 million people die each year on the world's roads, while between 20 and 50 million sustain non-fatal injuries. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people aged between 15 and 44.

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