Road accidents are a human tragedy. They involve high human suffering and monetary costs in terms of untimely deaths, injuries and loss of potential income. Although we have undertaken many initiatives and are implementing various road safety improvement program the overall situation as revealed by data is far from satisfactory. According to MORTH, Govt. of India during the calendar year 2015, there were more than 5 lakh road crashes (accidents) in India, which resulted in deaths around 146133 and injuries around 500279.
Nevertheless, in the state of Telangana during the calendar year 2016, there were around 22033 crashes (National Highways: 5823, State Highways: 3978 and other roads: 12232) took place which resulted in deaths around 6910 and injuries around 23554. National Highways have very high accident rate of i.e., 225 per 100 Kms and very high severity rate 35 per 100 accidents whereas the national severity rate is 29 only. Similarly the accident rate on the State Highways is also high at 126 and the severity rate is also high at 35 deaths per 100 accidents. These numbers translate intone road accident every minute, and one road accident death every 3 minutes. Unfortunately, more than half the victims are in the economically active age group of 25-65 years. The loss of the main bread winner can be catastrophic.
Road traffic accidents are amenable to remedial action. Many a countries have curbed the menace of road accidents by adopting a multipronged approach to road safety that encompasses broad range of measures, such as, traffic management, design and quality of road infrastructure, application of intelligent transport system, safer vehicles, law enforcement, effective and quick accident response and care etc. The Government alone cannot tackle road safety problems. There is a need for active involvement of all stake- holders to promote policy reform and implementation of road safety measures. Addressing road safety is comprehensive manner underscores the need to involve multiple agencies and sectors like health, transport and police. The present study provides the magnitude and various dimensions of road accident in India. The analysis on road accidents in this study will help to create awareness, guidelines and assist in informed decision making on road safety.
Indian Federation of Road Safety (IFROS) a pan-India NGO working towards development of the nationwide initiatives taken in the field of Road Safety – Advocacy, Research and Training and to exchange knowledge, views and ideas that are successfully practiced around the Nation. The organization mission to bring awareness about the dangers of Road Traffic Accidents by practicing a new Road Safety culture among road users and to encourage and promote governments in development and maintenance of better, safer roads and road safety measures. Working together with its members and associates, IFROS promotes social and economic benefits to the community that flow from well-planned and technically sound road safety networks. It helps put in place technological solutions and management practices that provide maximum social returns from national road safety road investments.
Mr. Vinod K Kanumala, the chief functionary of IFROs in his recent dialogue in “2nd International forum on vehicle driving training and road traffic,” held in Beijing, China; said that the very high occurrence of traffic crashes in India has become one of the country’s major social issue. The importance of human factors in transport policy discussion is growing. There is a realization that policy options that appear beneficial in principle have to be checked for their feasibility of implementation. Understanding and describing driver behavior become a challenge when one tries to identify driver errors in resolving road crash factors and countermeasures.
The human factor is considered to be the central element in the whole system. The final goal is to organize a traffic environment that is fitting and safe for all road users. The application of the risk analysis approach in gauging the incite of education and enforcement in traffic safety. Education and training programs might prove to be effective in reducing collisions if they are more specific, addressing critical age and experience related factors. At the same time, more research into the behaviors and crash experiences of learner drivers is needed to refine our understanding of the problem.
However, there are key differences between the two are education is learning what, and training is learning how. It might seem a distinction without a difference, but upon deeper reflection, the difference becomes clearer. Further, it becomes clear that they go hand in hand in keeping drivers safe.
He further said that Road crashes are not accidents – they are sustainable and need to be stopped! If we join our hands and work towards deterring road deaths by providing apt education and training among road users. Therefore every road user concern is important;
ROAD SAFETY + CONCERN=CHANGE.
If we remain to this very CAUSE, and keeping continuous efforts to bring change in INDIA, we shall see our Nation which shall be accident free.
Vinod K. Kanumala,
Chief Functionary, Indian Federation of Road Safety
Founder/ Secretary, Post Crash Care Foundation