Abhilash was a raring-to-go-youngster. He always dreamt of making it big in life. But he hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. All of 24, his life came to a grinding halt on that fateful night when his speeding car crashed into a median and toppled. Death struck in split seconds. His dreams never saw the light of day.
This is just one story among a myriad others we read, witness, or hear about regularly. But do we learn our lessons from these incidents?
Apparently not, going by the statistics.
Every hour, 40 budding youth under the age of 25 lose their life in road accidents worldwide. 1.2 million people die in traffic accidents every year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), road accidents happen to be the second most important cause of death for 5 - 29 year olds.
Road accidents are one of the significant causes of disability, injury and death in the world. The trauma caused by road accidents is unimaginable - physical, mental, financial and many a time irrevocable!
India has the highest road traffic accident rate worldwide with over 140,000 deaths annually, beating even China. Every hour, nearly 14 lives are lost due to road accidents in India. More than 40 % of the deaths are caused by trucks and two-wheelers. Most accidents occur in the afternoons and during peak hours (especially in the evening) considered an ‘unsafe’ or dangerous time to be on the road. In 67% of these accidents there is head injury. Most people do not wear seat belts or those on two wheelers do not wear a helmet -though it is compulsory in many states of the country. Our traffic conditions are chaotic, the rules are broken all the time and we have no traffic sense. All this reflects in the number of fatal accidents that occur in India. Road traffic accidents have come down in most western countries due to strict adherence to traffic rules and stringent penalities.
Low and middle income countries face the brunt of 90% of fatal road accidents, according to the WHO mortality statistics. Poor road planning and inadequate protection to pedestrians and cyclists cause road mishaps, besides human error.