Deepavali is synonymous with the number of burn cases that land up at the doctors’ doorstep every year. But surprisingly, traffic accidents usually see a surge during the festival season.
In the last five years, the 108 ambulance service has recorded the maximum number of calls related to road accidents on a single day during this particular season. The sudden rise is not only on Deepavali, but also on days close to the festival.
In 2012, the 108 call centre received 807 road-accident related calls on Deepavali day alone. Two days prior to the festival, the centre received 588 and 606 calls respectively. The number of fire accident-related calls on Deepavali last year was on the opposite spectrum - only 56.
Officials say that this sudden rise is due to the high passenger traffic one witnesses during festival season, when people go home or visit relatives. “But when it comes to accidents that involve two-wheelers, it is mostly due to drunken driving,” added an EMRI official. In fact, Deepavali is one of the three festivals in the year when the ambulance service gets the maximum number of calls, the others being kaanum pongal and New Year, they said. Last year, they received as many as 4800 calls. While motor vehicle accidents top the list during the festival, cases of physical assaults also sees a sharp increase around this time. On the day of Deepavali last year, about 232 calls were received related to assaults. And most of these cases, officials said, involved liquor.
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