Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Accidental occurence

June 3, 2008

H/l: Male, young, and prey to the roads
Intro: A recently published study shows clear pattern in road accidents in Maharashtra
Byline: Vrushali Lad

Mumbai: Even something as seemingly random as a road accident has a pattern. More worryingly, this pattern dictates that most road accidents in Maharashtra happen during the monsoon months and that most victims are in the age-group 21 to 29 years.

These findings emerge from a research conducted by four doctors at the Karad-based Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences University, and was recently published by the Indian Journal of Community Medicine. The study, titled 'Pattern of Road traffic injuries: A study of Western Maharashtra' comes up with some interesting points.

The study throws light on many aspects of road accidents, and can help hospitals and police plan first aid and surveillance on accident-prone roads better. Maharashtra has the highest number of registered vehicles and contributes 11.5 per cent of road accidents and 13 per cent of road accident deaths in the country.

An average of 200 accidents are reported daily resulting in 23 fatalities and 134 injured persons. As per the Central Institute for Road Transport, Maharashtra had 79,806 road accidents in 2007, resulting in 10,735 deaths.

"We studied over 400 road accident cases before tabulating the results. We found that the proportion of male victims was greater than female victims by a ratio of 4.6:1. Besides, most of the road accidents occurring in Maharashtra during the year happen during the monsoon months of June to September," said Dr Supriya Patil, one of the researchers.

This is to be noted particularly since the monsoon months are approaching. The study further states that a staggering 60 to 80 per cent casualties take place during the daylight hours, thus shattering the belief that night journeys by road are more dangerous. "There is a significant association between the type of vehicle and overcrowding," said Dr Patil, adding that the general tendency among travellers is to fill the vehicle up to twice or more of its seating capacity.

There is a pattern even to the injuries sustained – most of the deaths result due to head injuries, followed by huge blood loss due to injuries to extremeties and the head. "Motorised two wheelers involved in road accidents lead to the most head injuries," Dr Patil said.

Road accidents in numbers
79,806 in year 2007
10,735 deaths in 2007
25 per cent of deaths by injury are due to road accidents: WHO
200 average road accidents daily in Maharashtra
60 per cent of road accidents are caused by speeding

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