What is the News?
The World Bank released a report titled “Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities: The Burden on Indian Society”. It highlights the Socio-Economic impacts of road accidents in India.
About the Report:
- Published by: World Bank in collaboration with SaveLIFE Foundation.
- The report highlights the socio-economic impact of road accidents. It analyses the Medical care access and post-accident financial distress of various categories of people.
- The data was collected from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra — a State each from northern, southern, western, and eastern regions.
Road accidents in India:
- India tops the world in road crash deaths and injuries. It has 1% of the world’s vehicles but accounts for 11% of all road crash deaths. It is witnessing 53 road crashes every hour and killing 1 person every 4 minutes.
- India has seen around 4.5 lakh road accidents in the past year. It resulted in at least 1.5 lakh deaths over the past few years.
- According to a 2018 World Health Organization report, India tops the world in road crash deaths, with more than 400 fatalities per day.
Socio-Economic Impact of Road accidents in India:
- There are more fatalities from road crashes among poor families compared to rich families. The risk of a victim undergoing disability after a crash was also 2 times more likely among poor families.
- The socio-economic burden of road crashes is disproportionately borne by poor households. Accidents result in a decline of 75% of total household income among low-income groups. Whereas, the decline among high-income groups is only 54%. It underlines poor access to insurance schemes among the less privileged.
- Impact on Women: About 50% of women were severely affected by the decline in their household income after a crash. About 40% of women reported a change in their working patterns post-crash. While around 11% reported taking up extra work to deal with the financial crisis.
- Urban-Rural Divide: The severe impact of the decline in income was highest among poor households in rural areas (56%) compared to those in urban areas (29.5%).
- Insurance Coverage: There is an asymmetry in insurance coverage. About 1/4th of respondents from high-income households (24%) said that they received compensation. Whereas, among poorer respondents, only 14% received compensation.
- There is a need to institutionalize post-crash emergency care and make health infrastructure and coverage more accessible and inclusive.
- The central and state governments should provide a social security net for crash victims from low-income households through state support.
- The Central government should create schemes to increase insurance coverage and penetration for low-income households.
Source: The Hindu