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India tops the world with 11pc of global deaths in road accidents

Country has 1% of world's vehicles but 11% of global deaths. (Source: AA)

NEW DELHI: With just 1 percent of the world’s vehicles, India accounts for 11 percent of the global death in road accidents, the highest in the world, according to a report by the World Bank.

According to the report, the country accounts for about 450,000 road crashes per annum, in which 150,000 people die and experts in India believe road traffic fatalities could be lowered with proper planning and implementation of rules.

“India has the highest number of casualties in road accidents,” said the report. “There are 53 road accidents in the country every hour and one death every four minutes,” it added.

In the last decade, 13 lakh people died and another 50 lakh got injured on Indian roads, it said. “Considering the under reporting phenomenon and using the crash ratios for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways crash numbers”, the report estimates the crash costs at Rs 5.96 lakh crore or 3.14 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

On the eve of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims observed Sunday, Piyush Tewari from Save Life Foundation said most road fatalities are taking place because of flawed road designing and engineering.

“Weak enforcement of traffic laws, lack of rapid trauma care and bad road-user behaviour are other reasons for such a large number of fatalities on India roads,” Tewari told Anadolu Agency.

The other aspect of fatalities is that India has the second-largest road network in the world, after the US and its large network of roads requires a significant amount of enforcement activities.

New and smooth roads being built all over the country lead to high speeds and improper behaviour and the group has suggested that there should be an intelligent management system deployed every 100 kilometres (62 miles).

“So some sort of traffic rule violation deterrent should be in place as we can’t deploy a lot of personnel. But we can use technology to ensure that roads are safe,” according to Piyush.

His organisation has recommended that the government should identify specific locations on highways and upgrade them so that they can serve as at least stabilisation centres, if not treatment centres, and accident victims could survive their travel with better facilities.

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