Brazil’s high road death rate

Brazil’s road death rate remains worryingly high.
Highway & Network Management / June 7, 2021 55 seconds Read
By MJ Woof
Brazil’s road crash rate remains worryingly high - image © courtesy of Mike Woof
A new report highlights the worryingly high rate of crashes, serious injuries and road deaths in Brazil. The report was produced by the 360º CI agency on behalf of Abramet, the Brazilian traffic medicine association.

According to the report, there were as estimated 1.51 million road crashes in the period from 2009 to 2019, resulting in a total of 79,085 reported road deaths. The data included in the report was provided by Brazil’s Federal Highway Police. In the period between 2009 and 2019, Brazil’s road death rate was reduced by 26%, falling short of the target set by the World Health Organisation of a 50% drop during this time.

Meanwhile, the latest figures suggest that there were as many as 5,300 road deaths in Brazil during 2020, despite the massive drop in traffic volumes due to the pandemic. According to the latest estimate by the United Nations, Brazil has a population of over 213,771,000, suggesting a fatality rate of around 24.8/1,000,000 of population. This is around 10 times the fatality rate/1,000,000 of population of Sweden, acknowledged as one of the safest countries in the world to travel by road.

Driver distraction is listed as the primary cause of road crashes in Brazil, accounting for 38.5% of incidents according to the report. Because of its massive population, China has the highest rate of road deaths in the world, followed by India and then Nigeria, with Brazil having the fourth highest road fatality rate. It is of note though that China’s road death rate/head of population is far lower than that of India, while Thailand has one of the highest road death rates/head of population of any country in the world. Of these countries, China has achieved considerable success in reducing its annual road fatality rate through measures such as tougher enforcement of rules against speeding and drink driving, while India, Nigeria, Brazil and Thailand have made little progress in improving road safety.