The high toll of road traffic injuries and deaths is one of many pressing mobility challenges. An estimated 1.3 million people die every year in traffic crashes worldwide, with 93% of deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries.

Over half of all road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Road traffic injuries are also the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5 to 29 and the 8th leading cause of death worldwide.

Since 2009, the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities has been a partner in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety, a consortium dedicated to implementing road safety interventions.

Through evidence-based infrastructure projects and policy changes, the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety has saved an estimated 312,000 lives and prevented 11.5 million injuries worldwide. 3.5 billion people are also now covered by stronger road safety laws supported by the initiative.

As part of the Initiative, WRI works with 16 cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America. We provide technical expertise and guidance to implement interventions and policies for safe road infrastructure design and mobility systems.

WRI works to save lives through the “Safe System” approach. This approach starts from the premise that while human error is inevitable, traffic fatalities and serious injuries are preventable. We help reduce people’s exposure to fatal crashes through safe urban design and sustainable mobility systems that prioritize the movement of people through walking, cycling and public transport. We also work with political leaders, transport and planning agencies, and communities to implement evidence-based policies for safer streets and mobility.

Our actions and interventions include providing close technical support for street and road design and implementation and mobility projects; building local capacity and working closely with diverse partners to scale up impact; and supporting comprehensive road safety strategies, policies and speed management plans at the local and national levels.

Ongoing research and analysis of cutting-edge road safety measures and experiences globally feed and inform WRI’s on-the-ground work.

Since 2015, WRI has performed road safety audits on 690 kilometers of roads. Over 430 kilometers of infrastructure, such as safe public transit systems, bus rapid transit, bike lanes and pedestrian spaces have incorporated WRI recommendations. WRI has also trained more than 11,600 people, working to scale up impact through national and city-wide strategies and policies. Our close partnerships with cities have secured more than $300 million for road safety projects and are projected to save over 35,000 lives through 2040.

WRI's road safety impact numbers