Road Safety and Health

Road Safety and Health
Each year, over 1.2 million people loose their lives and countries

Each year, over 1.2 million people lose their lives and countries experience negative impacts on GDP at the rate of 1% to 3% due to road accidents. If there had been a disease with such extensive human and economic costs, it would have been declared (and treated) as a global epidemic. To give you a sense of the scale of this problem, Ebola, which became a global health emergency between 2013 & 2018, has led to only 12,000 cases of death to date. That is about 4 days’ worth of deaths due to road accidents. We should note that just like health epidemics – HIV, Hepatitis and Cholera, road accidents and fatalities almost always impact the low to medium-income countries. This is even more interesting because while most of these countries have very low vehicle ownership and road networks, they have far more deaths by comparison. However, what is not surprising but critical for us to remember is that between India and China, road fatalities could be brought down by 40%. The problem (and the greatest impediment) may be the extensive normalization of road deaths, as a way of life. The data is loud & clear. Vehicles don’t kill as many people as apathy does.

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