Recognize the selfless men and women
who rescue, care for and support victims of road trauma
It is 25 years ago this year since a day dedicated to remembering road traffic victims began to be observed. Every year, third Sunday in November is observed as the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, and in 2020, it is November 15. It is a day to remember the many millions killed and injured in road accidents and thank emergency services for their diligent service. It was started in 1993 by the British road crash victim charity, RoadPeace, and the UN adopted the same in 2005. RoadPeace is the national charity for road crash victims in the UK.
Deaths and injuries due to traffic accidents are sudden and traumatic events and the impact is long-lasting. Each year, millions of newly injured and bereaved people are getting added. According to the WHO, road traffic injuries caused an estimated 1.35 million deaths worldwide, and the number is increasing every year. That is, one person is killed every 25 seconds. Low-income countries have the highest annual road traffic fatality rates. The risk of dying because of a road traffic injury is highest in the African Region and lowest in the European Region (9.3 per 100 000).
India has more number of fatalities due to road accidents. ~17 accident-related deaths occur across India every hour. India has about 1% of the world’s vehicle population, but it accounted for about 6% of the road traffic incidents. Almost 70% of the accidents involved young Indians. Two-wheelers had maximum involvement in fatal road accidents across the country. A significant portion of the accidents occur at T-junctions with over speeding has been a cause for concern. Supreme court of India passed Good Samaritan Law in 2016. This gave much-needed relief and protection to those who step in to help the victims and timely intervention of getting them medical help and emergency relief.
Injuries due to traffic accidents can be prevented. There is a need for holistic approach by Governments to address road safety holistically. Involvement from multiple sectors such as transport, police, health, education, is required. Necessary to enact measures that address the safety of roads, vehicles, and road users. In India, there has been a significant amount of awareness events taking place across the country organised by various NGOs.
An accident is an unfortunate event, the impact it would have on the families both emotionally and economically us humongous. Since most of the victims are youth and males, the effect on the countries is enormous. Many times, it pushes the families into a struggle for economic survival. One is to have rules and regulations, and more challenging is to ensure adherence of the same. Bringing awareness about the consequences of traffic accidents is essential and days like this to remember is in that direction.
Life is precious to the individuals, it is as much to the families, societies, and countries. Each year, about three to five per cent of the country’s GDP was invested in road accidents. Sustainable Development Goals has an ambitious target of halving the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes.