Georgia residents may be surprised to hear that traffic accidents are the eighth leading cause of death in the world. This is according to a new study from the World Health Organization. Traffic crashes are, in fact, the leading cause of death among those between 5 and 29 years old.

Middle- and high-income countries are more successful in maintaining traffic safety whereas those in low-income countries are three times more likely to get in a fatal crash. Though only 1 percent of the world’s traffic crashes occur in low-income countries, 13 percent of the fatal ones do. Current statistics show that the UN’s goal of halving traffic death numbers between 2016 and 2020 cannot be met.

Improvements are being made, however. Of the 175 countries involved in the study, 123 have laws that meet best practice recommendations for one of the following: speeding, drunk driving, motorcycle helmet use, seat belt use and the use of child restraints. Other behavioral risk factors like distracted and drugged driving were discussed in the report, but not enough evidence was available to assess the laws for them.

Globally, 132 of the countries had nationwide design standards for pedestrian and cyclist crossings. Only 92 had standards for separating motor vehicles from cyclists and pedestrians. In addition to road infrastructure, other areas that need improvement are vehicle safety standards and the availability of post-crash care.

Those who are injured in car accidents will want to find out if and how the other driver was to blame. That way, they can know if they are eligible for compensation under personal injury law. Before the two-year statute of limitations runs out, they might want to consult with a lawyer and begin the process of filing a claim against the other side’s auto insurance company. The lawyer may be able to negotiate for a fair settlement, litigating if one isn’t agreed upon.