How Do We Save Our Young People From Untimely Road Injury Deaths?

How Do We Save Our Young People From Untimely Road Injury Deaths?

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How Do We Save Our Young People From Untimely Road Injury Deaths?

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“One of the main things I want to start with is the difference between accident and road injury,” says Prof Rakhi Dandona from the Public Health Foundation of India and lead author of the ICMR-WHO at the press release for her paper on Population-Level Estimates of Road Industry Deaths State-Wise in India.

She continued, “An accident implies something inevitable - but road crash or road injury conveys that we can prevent this. We start with this shift in attitudes.”

Speaking to FIT, Prof Dandona, talks about road safety interventions that need to go beyond awareness-raising, “it has to be multi-sectoral with stronger law enforcement and health systems.”

Key Findings from the Report

  • In 2017, India had 2,2 lakh road injury deaths, making it the leading cause of premature death among young males.
  • 77% of young males died from road accidents, three times as much as females.
  • Older people died more from pedestrian road injury deaths.
  • The motorcyclist and cyclist road injury death rate was 69% and 33% respectively higher in India as compared to world figures.
  • The road traffic death rate was slightly higher in less developed states

“We are harming our young, working population with bad road safety - and one death is an incomplete figure of the loss. It is usually the breadwinner that is affected, so the entire family is hurt,” says Prof Dandona.

Death by road accident is an economic and social burden.

Professor Vinod Paul of NITI Aayog added that India has a 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of halving the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes.

Now while the 2020 target may be too late, we need to take urgent specific steps now to meet the 2030 target.

The Solutions:

The India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative released the first population estimate report of road injury deaths by type of road user and by state. “We found that the most vulnerable were bike users and pedestrians. We need targeted policies that focus on specific groups,” says Prof Dandona.

  • Focus on two-wheelers and pedestrians
  • Enforcing strong policies and law enforcement
  • Enhancing health systems to deal with traffic injuries

The paper suggested a multi-sectoral approach as Prof Dandona added, “Just awareness raising is not enough, we need to look at this problem holistically.”

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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