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Road safety

Road safety

UNHCR operates a worldwide fleet of some 10,000 motorcycles, light, heavy, and other specialized vehicles. International and local UNHCR and partners personnel use vehicles for road missions to provide humanitarian assistance, and they are exposed to the risk of traffic crashes.

Road crashes constitute a major threat to health and safety. Therefore, with the signing of the UN Strategy on Road Safety by the UNHCR High Commissioner in 2019, the organization actively implements various activities under the 5 pillars of the strategy.

Vehicular transportation is crucial for attending to the needs of the forcibly displaced (persons who are forced to flee their homes due to conflicts, violence, human rights violations, and persecution). Unfortunately, this exposes UNHCR and partner organizations personnel to the risk of traffic crashes, and UNHCR is designing and implementing initiatives to reduce the rates of traffic crashes.

A graph showing number of traffic crashes with casualties/million km traveled, for 2020, 2021 and 2022, compared with the fleet forum benchmark. 2020 is 0.97, 2021 is 1.00, 2022 is 1.06 and the fleet forum benchmark is 0.49.

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Partner organizations play a crucial role in attending to the needs of the persons of concern to UNHCR (asylum seekers, refugees, internally displaced persons, returnees, and stateless persons), often needing to travel to remote areas to reach the people in need for which UNHCR provides vehicles under a Right of Use Agreement.

Consequently, partner organizations are expected to follow UNHCR's road safety management system which has 5 pillars: road safety management, safer roads and mobility, safer vehicles, safer road users, and post-crash response. Therefore, UNHCR has created some Road Safety management guidance for partner organizations, and the document is available in our UN partner portal.


We involve partner organizations and government drivers on our Road Safety journey by including them in some of the initiatives UNHCR has implemented to reduce the risk of traffic crashes including:

  1. Defensive driving training
  2. Road Safety webinars
  3. Road Safety conferences
  4. Safe journey planning
  5. Safe Road Use course (to enroll please send a message to [email protected])
  6. Driver ID cards to monitor drivers’ behaviours
  7. Vehicle inspection and maintenance
  8. Guidance for implementing road safety practices
  9. Traffic crash risk analysis and traffic crash investigations
  10. Road safety strategies

With the collaboration of the partner organizations, UNHCR is striving to achieve zero traffic crashes with casualties.

How to report a traffic crash involving a UNHCR vehicle?

Please report it immediately to the UNHCR local office, then send a message within 72 hours to both email addresses: [email protected] and [email protected].

Road traffic crash investigations

UNHCR has a frame agreement with TRL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Transport Research Foundation. TRL conducts traffic crash root cause analysis to identify the causes of traffic crashes and help develop countermeasures. Learn more about TRL.

For more information on road safety initiatives involving partner organizations and governments please send a message to [email protected].