Hyderabad: While the number of road accidents has reduced, their severity has increased nationwide. Transport experts said accident severity went up from 21.6 per cent in 2005 nationwide to 31.8 per cent in 2017 — a 10 percentage point increase.
Severity of accident is defined by the number of deaths per hundred accidents. In 2016 it was 31.4 per cent, meaning it grew by half a per cent in a single year. Telangana state performed better, with the accident severity coming down year on year, from 34.4 in 2014 to 29.3 in 2017.
Reasons included for the increase in accident severity are technology advancement in terms of high-speed vehicles; poor engineering of roads; rash driving, overspeeding, and drunk driving; and distraction.
Another important element increasing the severity rate is inadequate emergency care services for victims immediately after the crash. Many a time a person who did not die on the spot succumbs to injuries due to the delay in medical care.
Prompt medical attention is essential in reducing the fatality and severity rate, Telengana state deputy transport commissioner Puppala Srinivas said.
At times, bystanders trying to help the victim cause more harm. "Sometimes lifting a victim inappropriately also results in death or permanent disability,” said Mr Vinod Kanumala, chairman of the Indian Federation of Road Safety. He added that more people needed to be trained in providing emergency health care services.
Effective care requires a series of time-sensitive acts beginning with the activation of an emergency care system, continuing with care at the scene, transport, and then facility-based emergency care, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Rehabilitation of injury, mental healthcare, legal support and improvement of medical services are key post-crash response measures needed to bring down the severity rate....