A world free of high risk roads
The Business Case For Safer Roads
Achieving >75% of travel on 3-star or better roads by 2030
will save an estimated 467,000 lives every year and 100 million lives and serious injuries over the 20-year life of the treatments.
Targeted safe roads investment by all countries of 0.1-0.2% GDP per year through to 2030 will unlock this incredible outcome with $8 of benefits for every $1 invested.
At current levels an estimated 15 million people will die and up to 500 million will suffer life-changing injuries between now and 2030. The world cannot afford this to happen.
The UN has established a UN Road Safety Trust Fund and UN Member States have agreed 12 global targets for road safety that include ensuring all new roads are built to 3-star or better standard (Target 3), and more than 75% of travel is on the equivalent of 3-star or better roads by 2030 (Target 4). Achieving these goals will also help meet the United Nations SDG Goals to “halve the number of global deaths and injuries” (target 3.6); invest in infrastructure to create growth and jobs (target 9.1) and ensure that transport is safe and sustainable (target 11.2).
The Business Case For Safer Roads
The iRAP Business Case for Safer Roads provides a high-level global estimate of the lives and serious injuries that can be saved, and the social and economic benefits of maximising the percentage of travel on 3 star or better roads by 2030. This simple analysis helps to highlight the benefits of investing in road safety and creating safer roads and safer speeds that will save lives. With widespread application of low-cost maintenance safety treatments, well-targeted investment in infrastructure upgrades and safer speeds across the global road network an estimated 100 million lives and serious injuries can be saved worldwide.
Important Note: Global assumptions and data have been utilized to inform this simplified global analysis. It is noted that many countries and jurisdictions will have more up to date and locally available data to better inform investment decisions and this should be used where available.
The Business Case for Safer Roads: >75% of travel on 3-star or better roads for all road users
UN TARGET 4: > 75% of travel on roads that meet technical standards for all road users by 2030 (equivalent to 3-star or better):
|Low income||Lower-middle income||Upper-middle income||High income||ALL|
|Number of countries||31||45||51||50||117|
|Annual number of fatalities||195,569||423,148||472,563||116,331||1,207,611|
|Population||808 mil||2,475 mil||2,411 mil||1,271 mil||6,966 mil|
|Fatalities per 100,000 population||24.2||17.1||19.6||9.2||17.3|
|Annual number of fatalities and serious injuries||2,151,259||4,654,628||5,198,193||1,279,641||13,283,721|
|Annual cost of fatalities and serious injuries (% of GDP)||5.8%||4.2%||4.7%||2.0%||2.9%|
|What can be achieved with >75% of travel on 3-star or better roads for all road users|
|% of travel on 3-star or better roads for all road users by 2030||>75%||>75%||>75%||>75%||>75%|
|Infrastructure and Speed Management Investment required||15 bn||140 bn||313 bn||925 bn||1,395 bn|
|Annual GDP (2018)||896 bn||6,382 bn||22,268 bn||53,518 bn||83,065 bn|
|Annual Investment as a % of GDP (2019-2030)||0.14%||0.18%||0.12%||0.14%||0.14%|
|Reduction in fatalities per year||86,342||169,259||174,106||37,332||467,039|
|Reduction in fatalities and serious injuries (FSI) over 20-years||18,995,159||37,237,024||38,303,352||8,213,036||102,748,571|
|Economic Benefit||273 bn||1,335 bn||5,063 bn||4,507 bn||11,180 bn|
|Benefit Cost Ratio||18||9||16||5||8|
* Full datasets have not been available for some countries with these countries excluded from the analysis. Total fatalities in 2016 is currently estimated to be 1.34 million people worldwide (https://vizhub.healthdata.org/gbd-compare/).
Assumptions, notes and references
Star Rating Performance Assumptions:
An analysis of over 358,000km of star rating and investment plans undertaken by iRAP government, development bank and mobility club partners worldwide over the last 5 years has informed the existing star rating performance levels for each World Bank income category. The star rating policy and target setting work by WHO, OECD, iRAP and leading countries has been used to inform the 2030 targets by income category.
|Existing Roads||% of travel|
|Lower middle income||40%||30%||30%||0%||0%|
|Upper middle income||30%||30%||40%||0%||0%|
|2030 Target||% of travel|
|Lower middle income||0%||25%||75%||10%||0%|
|Upper middle income||0%||25%||60%||10%||5%|
The present value of fatalities and serious injuries is calculated over 20 years. The GDP per capita value for 2018 was used for calculation of the annual benefits in year 1. Long-term benefits (Net Present Value) has been calculated using a discount rate of 4%. (https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2017/01/weodata/download.aspx).
Benefit cost ratio:
The present value of the economic benefit divided by the current value of the cost to improve roads. It is noted that in most cases the future investment will be spread across a number of years and using the full present day cost will provide a more conservative estimate.
Thanks to Blair Turner from ARRB for undertaking a peer review of the business case for safer roads. To assist iRAP in undertaking more detailed analyses of the country by country potential for safer roads please contact firstname.lastname@example.org