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Tue, Mar 24

Can an app make roads safer?

Coming to rest against a tree at the side of the highway, the car had narrowly avoided catastrophe. Jennifer Farrell’s first instinct as a doctor was to help the motorcyclist. Just moments before, a bus had been crossing paths with the young American medic’s vehicle on the N2 – one of the world’s deadliest highways – when the motorcyclist had overtaken at speed. Running from the wreck towards the injured man, she had already anticipated that he would swiftly get up, grab his motorbike and flee.

“There’s a lot of vigilante justice in the world of road traffic accidents in Bangladesh,” she says. “People will pull people out of cars and beat them to death.” The ever-present threat of injury, or worse, on the country’s roads is a harsh reality that many in Bangladesh have simply become accustomed to.

Comparatively speaking, for every two fatalities in road accidents in the US, there are 160 deaths on the streets and highways of Bangladesh. Just under half of those killed are pedestrians, with 82% of injured parties in all road accidents succumbing to their wounds because of a lack of basic medical care at the scene.

Read more from The Guardian.