Accidents on Indian Roads
Accidents are quite common on Indian Roads. According
to figures by the Road Safety Cell of the Union Ministry of Road
Transport and Highways, there were 3.9 lakh accidents in 2000; 78,911
were killed and 3, 99,265 injured. Moreover with the rapid urbanization,
India has seen an un-precedent growth of motor vehicles. Currently
motor vehicle accidents rank ninth in order of disease burden and
are projected to be ranked third in the year 2020. Worldwide, the
number of people killed in road traffic crashes each year is estimated
at almost 1.2 million, while the number injured could be as high
as 50 million. In India, over 80,000 persons die in the traffic
crashes annually, over 1.2 million are injured seriously and about
300000 disabled permanently.
Safety studies have found that a majority of accidents
occur either due to the driver's error or due to the negligence
of the safety norms. Driver fatigue, drunken driving are some other
reasons of the mishaps. The actions like dangerous overtaking, lane
cutting, jumping of signals, erratic parking can be counted as major
causes for the calamities on the roads. Usually, accidents are prevalent
in urban cities where "Speed" of the vehicles is uncontrollable
and where each and every individual is in hurry. Private vehicles
get struck in the local roads while the commercial vehicle accidents
are prevalent on highways. Buses are one more player. Many bus tyres
get exploded, while most accidents occur because they do not use
Road related accidents cost India millions every
year, but there is no sign of any possible intervention. To despair,
there is no available record of precisely how much developmental
money is lost due to road related accidents, and how much compensation
is paid to road accident victims. Highways lack some sort of preliminary
road safety measures including first aid emergency services etc.
It is really ironical to note that, we have numerous liquor shops,
motels, fun parks, and petrol pumps spread all over the highways,
but scarce, or to be more precise, negligible trauma centers on
Many researches and surveys are being carried out
to look for the measures to control the mortality rate during the
accidents on the Indians roads. It is usually recommended that strict
licensing procedure being implemented. It is also advised to impart
a minimal level of education related to road safety especially for
young children. So, basically, we should look forward to formulate
a comprehensive safe "Driving Policy".
On Indian roads, the safest driving policy is to
assume that the other drivers will not respond to the traffic situation
in the same way as you think. Apart from power steering and power
brakes in our vehicles, we need both road sense and the necessary
infrastructure. Though most of the accidents can be reduced by training
drivers and enforcing rules, law does not tell you to be courteous.
That one has to be self cultivated.
Apart from the infrastructural loop holes, vehicle
manufacturers are also to blame to some extent. Knowing the extent
of the impact of accidents in India, proper safety measurements
are not implemented in vehicle designing for Indian roads. Equipment
including safety air bags and many more, although present in vehicles
abroad, are absent in Indian vehicles.
Note: "Most countries have
a multi-disciplinary approach to traffic planning and road design.
It is done by psychologists, engineers, doctors, sociologists and
vehicle experts. In India, traffic is still a civil engineering