Road Safety- Need of the Hour
Road Traffic Crashes have become a Global Cause of Concern for most governments as these Crashes have created situation like an Ongoing Epidemic across world roads. As per World Health Organization, Every year 1.3 Million People Die on Roads Globally due to Road Crashes. Low and Middle Income Group countries have the maximum share in Road Traffic Injuries and Deaths in the world. WHO has identified Road Traffic Crashes as a major Health Problem and put it amongst 5 major Non Communicable Dieses. As per ‘WHO Global Status Reort-2008’, Road Traffic Crashes will be the 3rd major cause of deaths in the world by the year 2030.
India is the ‘Worst Hit’ country in this context and has number 1 ranking in Road Crash Deaths in the world with one accident every minute and a road crash death every 3.7 minute. During 2013, out of 4, 86,476 road Crashes, 1, 37,572 people died. Almost 94% of these Crashes were due to motorised vehicles. These data reveals that 78% of these Crashes occurred due to ‘Drivers Fault’. (Source: Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Report-2013). This report also states that ‘Teen Aged Road Users’ (15yrs to 19yrs) as ‘Two Wheeler Riders’ are amongst the ‘Most Vulnerable’ Road Users.
Teenagers in above age group are dangerously exposed to this phenomenon as most of them ride a two wheeler without appropriate safety gadgets thus have more exposure to a vital road crash and chances of being severely injured or even killed in a road crash. Besides this, ‘Faulty Road Users’ behavior, expansion in the Road Network, Surge in Motorisation and Rising Population of the country and lack of Road Safety Awareness amongst road users are amongst other major reason behind increased numbers of Road Traffic Crashes in India. WHO data reveals that India has only 1% vehicular population of the world but it contributes more than 10% in World Road Crashes. These Crashes impose a huge Socio-Economy Cost in terms of untimely deaths, injuries and loss of potential income. The ramification of Road Crashes is colossal and its negative impact is felt not only on individuals, their health and welfare but also on countries economy which suffers annual 4% GDP Loss due to these Crashes.
These increased number of accidents, injuries and deaths can be avoided as most of the road crashes are ‘Predictable’ and ‘Preventable’ in nature provided the road users adopt ‘Safe Road Behavior’ on roads.