The political economy of road safety: a policy-oriented literature review

Road safety is a major international health issue – every year an estimated 1.25 million people are killed on the world’s roads and up to 50 million people incur non-fatal injuries. Despite the scale of the human cost, road safety has historically been given low priority, with interventions having a highly technical focus and often targeting the safety of relatively low risk groups. This is beginning to change, however, with the development of a series of global targets and a new systems approach to road safety challenges. This report develops a political approach to understanding road safety issues that compliments emerging approaches, using analysis of existing literature on road safety issues and interventions. It concludes by setting out a methodology for analysing these challenges at the city level that will be piloted by Overseas Development Institute and World Resources Institute in three cities over the course of 2017.