• On roads, the fatality risk for motorcyclists is 20 times higher than for car occupants, followed by cycling and walking, with 7 to 9 times higher risk than car travel, respectively.

  • Globally, 40 to 50 percent of traffic fatalities occur in urban areas. Evidence suggests that the highest fatality rates occur in cities in the developing world. The proportion of fatalities in urban areas is high and rising in low and middle income countries.

  • Air transport has seen a continuous reduction in the number of fatalities and fatal crashes over recent years, and some regions have begun to experience zero fatalities.

  • Based on data for the EU and North America, safety performance on railways has also improved over the last 20 years.

Objective and Target

The safety policy goal captures the ambition “to avoid fatalities, injuries, and crashes from transport mishaps across modes of transportation, thus averting the public health risks, and social and economic losses associated with unsafe mobility.”

The target of this objective is to halve the number of deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2020 (SDG target 3.6) and reduce by 5 percent the fatalities and injuries from each of the other modes of transport (waterborne, air, and rail transport) by 2030.

  • SDG 3.6 SDG 3.6 By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.

  • SDG 11.2 SDG 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.

Relationship to SDG’s

While numerous agencies—international, governmental, and non-governmental—have attempted to address the safety of different modes of transport, there has been no overarching effort to set an overall target for safety of mobility and to collect reliable global data on transport safety. However, there are internationally agreed targets for road safety and aviation safety. Road safety is featured directly in two Sustainable Development Goal targets (3.6 and 11.2). Air transport safety is covered in the Global Aviation Safety Plan 2017–19.