The World Health Organization estimates that the number of road traffic deaths has reached 1.35 million per year, with the highest road traffic fatality rates in low-income countries. The overall aim of this research is to support the adoption of priority vehicle safety standards for all new vehicles globally. Four countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico) are used as a case study.

The three highest priority vehicle safety standards (applicable to cars) are considered to be:
1. Minimum standards for crashworthiness (seat belts and frontal and side collision protection);
2. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) for crash avoidance;
3. Pedestrian protection measures to improve safety for Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs).

The report estimates the lives and serious injuries that could be saved over ten years if Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico adopted the full set of priority vehicle safety standards from 2020.

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