NEW DELHI: According to a research paper published by The Lancet Public Health journal, road injury was the leading cause of death in India among 15-39-year-old males in 2017 and was the second leading cause for both sexes combined.
As per the research findings, more than half of 2.2 lakh road injury deaths in India in 2017 were among pedestrians and motorcyclists.
If the estimated trends are to continue, no state in India is likely to meet the SDG 2020 target of reducing the road injury deaths by half from 2015 to 2020 or even by 2030, the research supported by the Indian Council of Medical Research noted.
Releasing the findings Vinod K Paul, member (health and nutrition) NITI Aayog said, “Road injury is an economic and societal burden. Deaths from road injuries are preventable with stringent implementation of laws and policies by state governments and implementing agencies.”
Detailing the findings, the lead author of the study, Rakhi Dandona, professor at the Public Health Foundation of India said that rapid urbanisation and economic growth has led to substantial increases in vehicle density and traffic mix but the infrastructure and levels of traffic law enforcement are struggling to keep pace with it, resulting in increased number of road injury deaths.
She added that road injuries need multi-sectoral action across three levels — to prevent crashes from occurring, to prevent injury if a crash occurs, and then to prevent death or disability among injured.
“For this to happen, we need to move from the fatalistic attitude conveyed by ‘accident’ to prevent this needless loss of lives. Road safety for pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists needs to be prioritised to ensure that the youth of our country do not face untimely death,” said Dandona.