Road safety has during the last decades developed into a fully recognized global policy area through for example, the WHO road safety report from 2004, the declaration of the Decade of Action in 2011, and the inclusion of road safety in the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. Despite the progress made, being killed in road traffic is the 9th leading cause of death in the world and the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15–29 (WHO, 2015). Therefore it is crucial to continue to develop the global and national management of this policy area as well as to further improve the communication of best practice and make sure that enough resources are allocated to this policy area on both the international and national level.
Research is scarce regarding the global governance of road safety. Most studies are related to specific measures, issues, or countries. The article presented is based on a study performed in 2016 and 2017 with the purpose to; 1) identify the main events, actors, policies, and measures on the global level, and 2) analyze the main opportunities and obstacles in the global management of the policy area for making progress. The study shows the importance of having many actors complementing each other in the work ahead. On the other hand, the study also shows that there is a need to further the knowledge about the role and work of different actors in order to progress as efficiently as possible. In addition, the study concludes that the vast number of actors can hamper the coherence regarding a common philosophy or model on how to work with road safety.