The 10 Worst Epidemics In History

Rank Epidemic Period In History Estimated Number of Deaths
1 Plague of Justinian 541-542 100,000,000
2 Black Plague 1346-1350 50,000,000
3 HIV/AIDS 1960-present 39,000,000
4 1918 Flu (Spanish Flu) 1918-1920 20,000,000
5 Modern Plague 1894-1903 10,000,000
6 Asian Flu 1957-1958 2,000,000
7 Sixth Cholera Pandemic 1899-1923 1,500,000
8 Russian Flu 1889-1890 1,000,000
9 Hong Kong Flu 1968-1969 1,000,000
10 Fifth Cholera Pandemic 1881-1896 981,899

If approximately 1,250,000 people are killed each year on the roads around the world, and another 30 to 50 million people are seriously injured, where does the Road Safety Epidemic fit on this chart?  If evaluated since 1960, like the HIV/AIDS disease, I would argue that it has to be in the top three worst epidemics in history!  It is probable that at least 50,000,000 plus people have died on our roads around the world since 1960.  More than 2.500.000 of these people have died on the roads in the United States.

Medical Science has done wonders to develop vaccines to control the Flu Epidemics, and the Cholera Pandemics, etc.  The bad news is that unlike the Flu Epidemics or Cholera Pandemics,  the number of fatalities on the world’s roads continue to grow, especially in lower and middle income countries.  The even sadder news is that vaccines do exist to reduce the carnage on the roads around the world.  Why are these vaccines not being used?  I want to believe it is not for lack of caring, it is for lack of knowing of the existence of these vaccines by road authorities around the world.

IRF will be conducting its Safer Roads by Design™ “Engineering Solutions” Comprehensive, Certified Road Safety Training Program in Alexandria, Virginia from Monday, DECEMBER 4 until Friday DECEMBER 8, 2017  to make road authorities, design engineers, consultants, contractors, academia and law enforcement agencies aware of the best practices and state of the art technologies and concepts being used in the road safety industry.  These are the vaccines that can reduce the number of road fatalities. The preliminary agenda for this training program is attached.

If you want to learn about global state of the art and best practices for Road Safety, then this is the training course for you! If you are not interested in road safety, then please forward this message to someone who is interested in road safety and is willing to Find a Way to make the roads safer.

This training program will focus on Roadside Safety, Work Zones Safety, Vulnerable Road User Safety and Road Safety Audit. It is ideal for anyone involved with road safety regardless of his or her level of experience.

The current status of NCHRP350/MASH for roadside hardware testing will be discussed as will concepts and products designed to make all five elements of work zones safer.  Participants also will discuss best practices to make the roads safer for all road users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and non-motorized vehicles.  Finally, the participants will be able to put their new-found knowledge to practice when they conduct a road safety audit of a local road.

Participants are encouraged to present road safety issues from their areas of responsibilities before the training program to allow the road safety specialists to discuss these issues and to incorporate them into the training.

To get additional information on this training and to register, visit this site:  You still have time to register, but you need to act quickly.

This is as close to a “boot camp” for road safety that you will ever experience.  This course will require your intense, dedicated, committed effort to learn about road safety for one week.  However, once you see the level of safety improve on your roads because you implemented something that you learned at this course, the hard work will be all worth it.

Come to Alexandria, Virginia for the training to learn how to make your roads safer, and stay for the weekend to enjoy the sites and fun that the Washington DC area has to offer.   Please contact me with any questions or comments.  We look forward to seeing you in Alexandria.

Remember: If something is important to you, you will Find a Way to make it happen.  If something is not important to you, you will find an excuse.  What can be more important than saving someone’s life?  IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO?  IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN?


PS Ask about the special rate for multiple registrants from the same company.


Michael G.  Dreznes
Executive Vice President
International Road Federation
500 Montgomery St | Fifth Floor | Alexandria, VA USA 22314
Tel +1 918 373 9637 | Fax +1 703 535 1007