Road accidents killed 600 a day in India in 2017: Lancet

NEW DELHI: In 2017, nearly 600 people died daily due to road traffic injuries in India, a study published in The Lancet Public Heath journal has estimated based on several "verbal autopsy reports". The estimated loss of nearly 2.19 lakh lives in 2017 was about 71,000 more than what the road transport ministry collated from all the states.
Verbal autopsy report is a method of gathering information about symptoms and circumstances of a deceased persons to determine his or her cause of death. The report, titled "Mortality due to road injuries in the states of India: the Global Burden of Disease", covered the period between 1990 and 2017 and was released on Monday.

According to the study, the number of deaths due to road injuries increased by 58.7% during this period as compared to only 8.1% globally.

It has estimated that the number of pedestrians was 76,729 while the number of motorcyclists killed could be 57,802 and cyclists accounted for 15,324 deaths. These estimates are far more than the reports that government published. For example, the road accidents report of 2017 says that only 20,457 pedestrians and 3,599 cyclists died in road accidents.

Similarly, the government report based on police FIRs claim 48,746 two-wheeler occupants died in road crashes.
The study further claimed that India had a higher age-standardised death rate for road injury among motorcyclists -- 4.9 deaths per one lakh population and cyclists 1.2 deaths per lakh.
The report said that motorcyclist and cyclist road injury death rates in India were 69% and 33% higher compared to the global average. "Road injury was the leading cause of death in males aged 15 to 39 years and the second leading cause in this age group for both sexes combined," it said.
The study found that the overall age-standardised death rate for road injuries varied by up to 2.6 times between states in 2017.

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