By Oakland Ross
Quick: which is the most dangerous country in the world for road-related fatalities?
The answer, at least officially, is the Dominican Republic, with an astounding annual death rate on the roads of 41.7 people killed for every 100,000 population.
For purposes of comparison, consider Canada, which has a corresponding rate of 6.8. That is pretty good, substantially better than the on-road performance of our neighbours immediately to the south (11.4) but not as impressive as the annual road-related death rate in the United Kingdom (3.7) or the level recorded in that perennial haven of probity, good sense, and safe driving, Sweden (3.0).
These and other figures, along with much more information about the dangers of this planet’s roads, can now be perused online, part of a project by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
It’s a sobering picture of a lethal and worsening threat.
Each year, more than 1.2 million humans lose their lives in road-related accidents, and that toll seems set to triple in the next two decades, with the worst effects being suffered in the developing world. By 2030, collisions and other highway mishaps will likely constitute the fifth largest cause of death in poor countries, the project says, worse than HIV/AIDS, malaria, or tuberculosis.
Called “Roads Kill,” the online project includes lengthy articles about diverse perils related to roads and to our species’ unfortunate penchant for careless and often lethal mistakes. An interactive map can be found here.
Among countries with the world’s most dangerous roads, few places are more lethal than Nigeria (33.7 annual deaths per 100,000 population), where more than 50,000 people lose their lives in road accidents each year. Even so, the Federal Road Safety Commission “only recently” required that aspiring drivers be required to take a test before acquiring a license. Before that, anyone who wanted a license could have one. All you had to do was pay.
Oakland Ross is a foreign affairs reporter for the Toronto Star.
Columns Everything you need to know about purchasing, maintaining and driving your car.
Become a member
Register now to access all features including:
- Save and ask friends to review vehicles
- Exclusive rebates & offers from local dealers
- Premium content, reviews and tools
- You can unsubscribe at any time. Please Contact Us for details.
All for free!
Already a member?
Registration 2 of 2
Welcome to Wheels!
As a final step we've sent a confirmation to your email address as a security measure. Please click the link in the email to complete your registration.
Terms of services
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, TORONTO STAR IS PROVIDING THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES ON AN "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS AND MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, IN ANY CONNECTION WITH THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEB SITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. TORONTO STAR DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTION OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THEIR CONTENTS WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THE SERVERS THAT MAKE IT AVAILABLE ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL TORONTO STAR BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF DATA, LOSS OF INCOME OR PROFIT, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, OR FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND OR CHARACTER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY COMPENSATORY, INCIDENTAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES), EVEN IF TORONTO STAR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR LOSSES, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEBSITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. IN NO EVENT SHALL TORONTO STAR'S TOTAL LIABILITY FOR ALL DAMAGES, LOSSES, AND CAUSES OF ACTION, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU FOR ACCESSING THIS SITE.X