Q&As: injuries

Q: Why are so many young people involved in road traffic crashes?

A: Young road users are at risk for road traffic injuries for a number of reasons: roads are planned without sufficient consideration of their specific needs; their physical and developmental characteristics (for example, the small size of children) increase their risk; risk taking behaviour and peer pressure, particularly among adolescents; and other risk factors such as speeding, drink-driving, not using helmets or not wearing seat-belts.

Q: How can violence against children be prevented?

There are two distinct types of violence experienced by children (defined by the United Nations as anyone aged 0-18 years) - child maltreatment by parents and caregivers in children aged 0-14, and violence occurring in community settings among adolescents aged 15-18 years. These different types of violence can be prevented by addressing the underlying causes and risk factors specific to each type.

Q: How can injuries be prevented?

Injuries cause 5 million deaths every year. They are also a leading cause of demand for medical care and rehabilitation services. People of all ages are affected, but some groups are more at risk. For example, for people between the ages of 5 and 44 years, six of the ten leading causes of death are injury-related. The burden of injuries also falls disproportionately on the poor - over 90% of injury-related deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries and even poor people in wealthier countries suffer much higher rates of injury. Poorer people are at higher risk of injury because they often live, work, travel and go to school in unsafe environments. They also benefit less from prevention efforts, and have less access to high-quality treatment and rehabilitation services.

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