This is a source for analysis, interviews, and commentary on security in Latin America. Herein you will find rumors, the results of off the record interviews, and information you'll not find in international or United States news media.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Traffic accidents as leading cause of death


With all the talk and focus on organized crime and other matters of security in Latin America, I wanted to take pause to underscore one often over-looked fact: traffic accidents are the leading cause of death in many Latin American countries.

Most of these "accidents" are due to driving under the influence of alcohol.

In Mexico, for example, a consultant for the Pan American Health Organization, and the World Health Organization, says that Mexico ranks 7th in the world for deaths caused by vehicle accidents. The total surpasses 20,000 a year, averaging about 55 a day.

Compared to the swine flu, the consultant states that for every one death caused by the swine flu, some 20 deaths are caused by automobile accidents.

Murders related to organized crime in Mexico, while by no means benign, have yet to surpass 5,000 a year.

In a city such as Rio de Janeiro, traditionally considered one of the most violent in the region, automobile accident deaths have outpaced murder for well over a decade. Last year, for example, a car full of teenagers speeding home after a long night at some of the city's most expensive dance clubs, jumped a curve and hit a pedestrian before wrapping itself around a tree. Body parts were found strewn across the accident scene.

In Peru, where many people die due to bus accidents, investigations in 2007 found that many of the bus drivers were drinking behind the wheel. One particularly nasty accident in December, 2006 sparked the accident. A bus had slipped off the side of a high Andean road and plunged well over 1,200 feet to the valley floor below, killing 45 passengers. A five-year-old boy and the bus driver were the only two survivors.

Some 4,000 people die and another 40,000 are injured in traffic accidents every year in Peru.

Buenos Aires, surprisingly, was the only city where I found that death caused by traffic accidents did not surpass other causes of death. I say surprisingly because Argentine drivers in the capital drive offensively like just about every other driver in Latin America.

Apart from that small slice of life in Latin America, across the region, from Mexico south, you will find many examples of drunk-driving deaths. With all the focus on organized crime and violent death, it's important to consider the leading, rather than the most news-worthy, cause of death in Latin America.


19 comments:

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John said...

Truly speaking, traffic accidents due to alcohol consumption are a serious problem which needs urgent attention & has to be solved at the earliest. Alcohol adversely affects driving-related skills such as vision, reaction time, judgment, and the ability to divide attention, and reduces driving performance. Every age group including young, male, single, suffer from alcohol or drug problems, and are characterized by aggression, hostility or other “undesirable” attitudes and personality traits. When these people drive drunk are at high risk of being involved in traffic accidents. That’s how intoxicated drivers often lead to vehicle crashes at the traffic post & the severity of such accidents increases with intoxication level of the driver. For more information visit www.accidentsdirect.com/personal-injury.aspx .

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diecast cars said...

is a horrible but true fact that we now live in the streets! the number of accidents per day is very high and increasing number of deaths for speeding!

vertigo symptoms said...

nadie sabe a lo que se atiene cuando toma alcohol y maneja, esto es en verdad un peligro, nadie debe menospreciar las leyes, para algo están y es para evitar tantos accidentes.. fabuloso post!!

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is the major cause of deaths around the world .. I liked the pictures! are very revealing!

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sasosafetysigns said...

Good scene, interesting post, new drivers or Youngster drives the vehicle but don't know how much about the rules and never follow the rule and cause to an accidents only tough rule can put restriction on those drivers.
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JoAnna said...

I appreciate this post and am interested in looking further into the details of these statistics. Do you have any recommendations as to where I might find this information?

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If you want to go on a long journey, it is best to plan it in advance. You must choose what time you must keep and which tracks to take. You should prevent high-traffic or high-speed streets. Moreover, try to prevent going to inadequate climate places.

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Yse this is the main region of accidents. If you intertested for
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