“Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities” -World Bank report on road accidents in India

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.

Key Findings:

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.

Recommendations:

  • 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

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