| India accounts for
as high as 6 per cent of the worlds
RTAs, although it has 1 per cent of the worlds
vehicles. The RTA rate of 35 per 1,000 vehicles
in India is one of the highest in the world
and so is the RTA fatality rate of 25.3 per
About the report
This report presents a comprehensive review of the information available in India
on the incidence, distribution and patterns of Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs), the
interventional attempts made nationally and internationally to cope with this increasing
incidence of RTAs and attempts to identify the gaps in research and information
on RTAs. The purpose of this report is to explore the areas where attempts can be
made to design research as well as intervention strategies that can help to significantly
reduce the deaths and disabilities due to RTAs.
This report is a product of research on the subject commissioned by the Sir Ratan
Tata Trust (SRTT), Mumbai (India) in view of lack of information on this issue.
India has a total rural road network of over 3,000,000km and urban road network
of more than 250,000km with:
National highways / expressways being 70,548km
State highways being 128,000km
Major and other district roads 470,000km
Village roads 2,650,000km.
indicates that the total motor vehicle
population in India has increased from
300,000 in 1951 to about 73,000,000
The percentage share of road traffic accidental deaths in India is 34.5 per cent
according to a recent NCRB (2009) report.
100,300 males and 17,939 females totalling 118,239 persons were killed during the
year 2008, while travelling by various modes of transport on roads.
Recent years have been witnessing an increasing
amount of traffic on the roads leading to
increased risks for road traffic accidents
to occur. Evidence from developed and especially
developing countries indicates that road traffic
accidents are on the rise and are found to
be fifth among important causes of deaths
globally, leading to a significant proportion
of injuries, deaths and disabilities in the
India has the highest proportion of deaths
due to road traffic accidents in South East
Asia. The situation is problematic in India
because of lack of proper infrastructure facilities,
poor road designs, poor implementation of
traffic rules and regulations and a high load
of a range of vehicles on the roads.
Fatalities and morbidities from RTAs mostly
affect the economically productive age group.
Studies indicate that young adults in their
early thirties continue to be the victims
Pedestrians, users of non-motorised vehicles
and users of motorised two-wheeled vehicles,
who are often from poor or lower middle
class households, are the victims of fatal
Gaps in knowledge
In spite of the high burden of RTAs in the country, there is a lack of systematic
information on the extent of the problem and its multi-dimensional nature.
There is limited information on the patterns, distribution, and outcomes of RTAs
across the country.
Lack of systematic data generation mechanisms both at the national and state level
leads to limitations in designing appropriate intervention strategies to deal with
the problem in the country.
In addition to this, research efforts to understand the social and economic consequences
of deaths, injuries and long-term disabilities and their implications for the different
sections of the population are limited.
The way forward
The way forward could include:
multi-pronged approach, and efforts
at systematic data generation to understand
the true extent of the problem.
and educational programmes directed
at both the vehicle users as well as
law enforcement mechanisms to control
and regulate traffic on the road.
in trauma management systems to reduce
the intensity of injuries suffered by
males and 17,939 females totalling 118,239
persons were killed during the year
2008, while travelling by various modes
of transport on roads.
use of safety aids such as helmets among
the public and improving infrastructure
to make roads safer.
research on improvement in the existing
technologies such as helmets by adapting
them to local circumstances; promote
better vehicular designs that are more
stable and crash-resistant.
of a common platform at the national
level to pool research inputs for better
understanding of RTAs and encourage
evidence based policy formulation to
attend to this problem in our country.