With rapid development of social economies, road traffic accidents (RTAs) have continued to increase, and have become the "primary public hazard" to humans. Road traffic trauma (RTT) is a major cause of death in young people of all motorized countries. This article reviews the current advances in RTT research, in order to find some approaches to improving traffic administration and reducing RTAs and RTT. All available data were collected from government, literature, our own research, and conference proceedings. Statistical analysis from every country showed that human factors were still the main cause of RTAs, accounting for more than 90%. Vehicle and road factors caused 3-5% and less than 2% of the total RTAs, respectively. Approximately 85% of RTAs were caused by 21 to 45-year-olds. About 50% of deaths due to RTAs in the United States were related to drinking. In China, RTAs due to driver drinking accounted for 0.29-1.48%. About 6-8% of drivers were prone to RTA, causing 30-40% of RTAs. Seat belts are an effective way to prevent casualties, reducing mortality and morbidity by 13-50%. In China, about 70% of RTAs were related to bicycles. Prehospital emergency treatment is very important. About 35% of deaths may be avoided if the injured receive early and effective treatment. From 1983 to 1992 the mortality of RTT increased by 13% in 18 developing countries, while it decreased by 18% in 13 developed countries, indicating the importance of comprehensive treatment of traffic administration. In addition many advances have been made in basic scientific research of RTT, such as development of serial bioimpact machines and investigation of biomechanical and biochemical mechanisms of impact injuries. In this century, RTAs and RTT are predicted to continue to increase in many countries, especially in developing ones. Full cooperation and comprehensive treatment should be performed in order to improve traffic safety.