Title: Growing burden and impact of road crashes in India: need for a safe systems approach

Authors: G. Gururaj

Addresses: Department of Epidemiology, WHO Collaborating Centre for Injury Prevention & Safety Promotion, Centre for Public Health, National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences, Bangalore 560029, Karnataka, India

Abstract: As per estimates, nearly 175,000 (136,900 as per official reports) persons died due to road crashes in India in 2011 along with hospitalisations and disabilities among survivors. More than 70-80% of these deaths and injuries occurred among young people, men and among pedestrians, two wheeler riders and pillions, and cyclists. The economic loss due to road crashes is an estimated $550 billion (INR 55,000 crores) or 3% of GDP (at 2004 prices) every year. Road safety in India requires a scientific approach for making road users safer in all traffic environments considering the limitations of human behaviour. There is need for strong road safety policies and programmes, a lead agency to coordinate activities, capacity strengthening, human resources, dedicated funding, strong advocacy, implementing scientific interventions, along with monitoring and evaluation. The 4'E's of Engineering, Enforcement, Education and Emergency Care need to be addressed through an intersectoral approach. In India, road deaths and other injuries are publicly glaring, while road safety is professionally lacking and politically missing and needs to be corrected for making road environments safer through multipronged approaches.

Keywords: road traffic injuries; mortality; morbidity; disability; prevention; trauma care; rehabilitation; vehicle safety; safe systems; vehicle crashes; India; road safety policies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVS.2014.063261

International Journal of Vehicle Safety, 2014 Vol.7 No.3/4, pp.282 - 295

Published online: 30 Oct 2014 *

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