GLOBAL TRAFFIC accidents cost a massive ú370bn ($559bn) each year, according to report published by the Transport Research Laboratory this week.
An estimated 750,000-880,000 people died on the world's roads in 1998, a figure which, it predicts, could rise to 1.3M over the next 20 years.
The report was compiled to assist the recently formed Global Road Safety Partnership, set up to improve road safety and raise awareness of the problem. Figures show that 85% of deaths were in developing countries - almost half of that figure in the Asia Pacific region. In the West the trend shows a steady decrease over the past 15 years.
The report also estimates that 2324M people are injured annually in road crashes across the world, though it admits this figure is difficult to quantify as in many countries injuries are not widely reported.