Accidents occur between all human-operated vehicles, vessels and transport with enormous loss of life and personal injury. Mid-air collisions of airplanes occur between military, commercial and private aircraft, most often near heavily used airports; marine collisions occur in busy harbours between vessels of all kinds and sizes; and road collisions, which involve the most fatalities, occur between passenger cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles, and between such vehicles and pedestrians. Another type of collision occurs between transport and stationary objects and includes airplanes that have flown into mountains, bridges, buildings and electrical wires, for example; ships which have struck icebergs, jetties, wharves, port facilities, reefs, sand bars and submerged rocks or wrecks; and roadway and off-road vehicles which have struck trees, poles or other objects. In addition there are collisions with animals: aircraft collide with birds; fast moving ships and boats collide with, or are struck by, whales and other sea-creatures; and road collisions occur with large animals such as horses, deer, sheep and cattle.
Transport accidents are the leading cause of accidental mortality and morbidity in both industrialized and developing countries.
Transport accidents with dangerous goods can lead to localized environment and health risks from contamination of air, water and soil.
Collisions also occur wherever humans are moving - whether in vehicles, on skates or using other devices for accelerating movement, or even (especially in crowded cities) between people who are merely walking. The collision-prone nature of humans is an individual physical limitation which, as a form of inattention, seems also to characterize world development as nations collide with each other, partly also as a consequence of a failure to exchange adequate signals.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.