KATHMANDU: Road accident is one of the major causes of death globally. And in South-East Asia (SEA), the road traffic accidents have been claiming 33 lives every hour, according to a startling revelation by a global health body.

A report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the eve of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims says the number of road traffic injuries has also been rising rapidly in SEA region in the recent times. The day is marked on the third Sunday of November every year.

The report ‘Status of Road Safety: the South-East Asia Region’ revealed that almost 289, 000 people died on the roads in the region in 2007. The report also stated that under and incomplete reporting of road deaths and injuries were major constraints in assessing the road safety status.

According to the WHO’s Global Burden of Disease Study, 2004, road traffic injuries were the tenth-leading cause of death in the region which accounts for 18 per cent of injury-related mortality and two per cent of total mortality figures. The proportion of motorcycles casualties in the region is 20 to 35 times higher than the high-income countries. Further upsetting fact revealed by the report is that the support services for road traffic victims are inadequate in many countries of the region.