2.18 lakh people died due to road accidents in 2017, says ICMR study

A study funded by the Health Ministry has put the deaths due to road accidents in 2017 at over 2.18 lakh, an extra 70,963 compared to those estimated by the Road Ministry. In 2017, 218,876 deaths occurred due to road injuries in India, estimates an article published in Lancet. This is 70,963 deaths more than the number of deaths indicated by the Road Ministry in its Road Accidents in Report for 2017, which puts the road accident deaths at 1,47,913 lives.

The data published in Lancet was pooled as part of a study on -- the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors -- has estimated the rates of deaths due to road injuries in India based on "several verbal autopsy data sources". The study is funded together by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Indian Council of Medical Research, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. According to the study, the administrative source of data on deaths due to road injuries in India is police records, which are documented in reports by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (Road Ministry) and the National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB).

Despite the same source of data, varying numbers of deaths are reported in the two reports, notes the study.

Specifically, data published by Road Ministry is collected from the Police Departments of various States and put together by Transport Research Wing of the Road Ministry.

In fact, Road Ministry- since mid-2018 - has started rolling out a common format for recording road accident data all Police Stations.

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