Car manufacturer Volvo has called on governments and regulators to address inequality in road safety between developed and developing economies.

Every year an estimated 1.35 million people lose their lives in traffic incidents but data by the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that the risk of road traffic death is more than three times higher in developing countries than in developed countries.

“Global data shows that there is a significant inequality in road safety,” said Malin Ekholm, Head of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre.

“Those safety gaps need to be addressed through technology, but also by creating and enhancing a global safety culture. We need to understand and address the variation in seat belt usage, while infrastructure should focus on improving the safety of vulnerable road users, pedestrians and cyclists.”

Volvo says it is keen to continue contributing to global road safety initiatives in collaboration with governments, academia and regulators. Last year it launched an open database containing decades of safety-related research.