More than 25,000 Latin American lives could be saved and over 170,000 serious injuries prevented by 2030 if United Nations (UN) vehicle safety regulations were applied by four key countries in the region—Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Brazil – according to a new report commissioned by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

TRL conducted the independent study, the aim of which was to estimate the potential for deaths and injuries prevented from adoption of the UN’s priority vehicle safety regulations, specifically:

  • Minimum standards for crash-worthiness, i.e., regulations that help to protect occupants in front and side impact crashes;
  • Electronic stability control for crash avoidance; and
  • Protection measures to improve safety for vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and bicyclists.

In addition to the 25,000 lives that can be saved in those four countries between 2020 and 2030, the study estimates that a further 15,000 lives would have been saved over the next 10 years if earlier regulatory action had ensured that electronic stability control was fitted throughout the whole vehicle fleet by 2020. The report also found that the crash avoidance and pedestrian protection measures would become cost-beneficial in each country within one to four years. Finally, the research estimates an economic benefit of USD $28.9 billion across the four countries by preventing fatalities and serious injuries.

“Deaths and serious injuries from vehicle crashes are preventable, and we know what works,” said Kelly Henning, Director of Public Health program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Requiring the UN priority safety features in passenger cars, including measures to protect pedestrians and bicyclists, could save many thousands of lives in the four countries studied and is a sound investment by governments.”

The report warns that all four countries need to adopt all the key regulations for the best scenario projections in the study to be realized.

“Given the numbers of lives that can be saved, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Brazil should immediately apply and enforce vehicle and pedestrian safety regulations beyond what they are already doing,” said David Ward, Global NCAP Secretary General. “We’ve seen these same regulations save lives in Europe, and the people of Latin America deserve the same benefits.”

View the report