Road accidents at a glance
The alarming data continues, with the global average accident fatality rate at 18 per 100,000 individuals. Additionally, another 20-50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries. What is more horrifying is that the scenario is worsening in most countries, with increasing number of vehicles each day.
Today, road accidents claim more lives than any epidemic or wars ever have, annually. Our fast-paced lifestyle makes us more prone to accidents, since we are mostly in a hurry to reach our destination or meet deadlines.
Currently, road accidents are the 9th leading cause of deaths in the world, and are bound to become the 5th major cause by 2030, according to reports by WHO. This grim picture acts as a wakeup call for us, to enhance, enforce and ensure that safety standards are adhered to.
Road Accidents - Freaky Facts
Here are a few facts about the grim picture of road accidents:
Road accident statistics in India
- Over 90% of the global road fatalities occur in the low and middle-income countries, which account for only 53% of the world’s registered vehicles.
- About 50% of the total road accident fatalities are pedestrians, cyclists, or motorized two wheeler users, who are collectively termed as “vulnerable road users”. However, this ratio is even higher in low-income countries.
- Annually, more than 50 million people are injured in road accidents. Most of these accidents lead to permanent or partial disability, affecting the victims financially, and the country economically.
- Road traffic injuries cost a country’s economy around 1-3% of their gross national product, which is more than what they spend on the development activities.
- In most countries, traffic laws are passed but not strictly enforced.
India witnesses approximately 145,000 road fatalities in a year with approximately 207 deaths per 100,000 vehicles. In USA, the figure stands at approximately 13 deaths and in UK, 6 deaths per 100,000 vehicles.
The whopping figures indicate that India has a long way to go to in improving road safety measures. Certain practices such as the Good Samaritan Law, Golden Hour, etc. that are in practice in the western countries, can help to decrease the number of accident fatalities significantly. India being one of the highly populated countries in the world becomes more vulnerable and needs to assess road safety standards regularly.
Safety measures for safer road travel
- Enforce legislations on permitted speed limits on highways and impose stringent punishments on defaulters.
- Invite and involve NGOs, corporates, government officials, etc. to create public awareness about road safety, in the form of visual displays, role-plays, experience sharing, etc.
- Implement foolproof measures to prevent drunken driving and other distractions such as taking calls while driving, and flouting traffic signals.
- Install grills or separations on highways for the safety of pedestrians.
- Set up first-aid posts or primary healthcare centers on major road stretches, to optimize transport time of accident victims.
- Staying alert and adhering to safety norms are the primary steps to ensure you reach your destination without mishap. Keep in mind that measures such as wearing a helmet or a seat belt enhances your safety, rather than merely considering it as a government-imposed rule. With a little care and attention, you can make the roads safer for you and others.