Amongst OECD countries in 1989, there were large variations between countries regarding road safety. For instance, deaths per 10 million vehicles are in a ratio of 1 to 4 (Sweden 2,087 vs Portugal 8.616) and deaths per 100 million motor vehicle kilometres in a ratio of 1 to 7 (UK 13 vs Spain 88). Portugal had the highest death rate per 100,000 population and Norway the lowest (31.5 compared with 9.0). Specific factors such as population density, condition of the road network, topography, climate, local style of driving explain part of such differences but another part stems from differences in the seriousness with which individual countries treat road accidents. If all European countries reached the present highest levels of road safety a reduction of approximately 30% in the number of deaths on the road could be achieved.
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.
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