Traffic accident is 10 times more likely to kill than coronavirus

NEW DELHI: A car accident is 10 times more likely to kill someone than to be infected with the Covid-19 virus. According to the updates available in Aarogya Setu, as of Saturday afternoon, 2,752 of the total 85,940 infected people had died, a death rate of 3.2%. But at least 381 had died in 1,200 traffic accidents, according to data compiled based on media reports. This translates into a mortality rate of almost 32%.

Even during 2019, the death rate for every 100 traffic accidents was around 30. According to media monitoring and deduplication carried out by our organization, 145 of the 381 road deaths between March 24 and 16 May were migrants, said Piyush Tewari of the SaveLife Foundation.

Road safety experts have been demanding measures including keeping a vehicle-free lane for the safe passage of migrant workers walking back home and thoroughly briefing bus drivers regarding emergency protocols, identifying areas of Rest where food and water can be provided to travelers, involving well-trained long-distance driving drivers familiar with particular terrain.

The Road Safety Network, a coalition of road safety experts and organizations, has also sent recommendations to the Union's Secretary of the Interior suggesting the need to include temporary lanes for cyclists and pedestrians on urban highways and roads. Seeking the immediate intervention of the road transport ministry, Harman Singh Sidhu of ArriveSAFE has urged the Union minister Nitin Gadkari to issue instructions to keep a vehicle lane clear as soon as possible.

Road deaths during a lockdown across the country have also stumped experts and government officials. Speeding is seen as the main reason behind these fatal accidents and has once again reinforced the way that the behavior of road users is responsible for most accidents and deaths in India.

Noting the vulnerability of pedestrians on major roads and highways, the Home Office issued warnings calling on states to ensure that migrants walk on the roads to reach their homes.