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One person dies in a road accident every 24 seconds Image Credit: IANS

Geneva: The UN is seeking donations for a new road safety initiative launched on Monday that highlights the grim toll of car accidents around the world every year.

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According to data from the UN Road Safety Fund (UNRSF), one person dies in a road accident every 24 seconds.

The UNRSF appealed for donations for its "24Seconds" initiative, particularly from the motor industry, which will be used to implement road safety projects across low and middle-income countries, "filling the critical gaps in national road safety systems."

These projects include encouraging the use of helmets, raising vehicle safety standards, improving emergency services and standardising road design to protect pedestrians and cyclists.

"Road crashes are a silent pandemic that overwhelmingly affects developing countries," Jean Todt, former Ferrari CEO and the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Road Safety, said.

Around the world, car accidents kill more than one million people every year and leave 50 million others with life-altering injuries.

"We are calling on the automotive industry to play a key role in advancing road safety globally, on all continents," Tatiana Molcean, the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, said.

Launched in 2018, the UNRSF is dedicated to helping governments reduce deaths on the roads by 50 percent by 2030.