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Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit

A World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Injuries, Violence and Accident Prevention

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Keyword: india

The middle-income countries of Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China, South Africa are collectively known as BRICS and have all recently experienced rapid and considerable economic growth as well as substantial political and social change.

The rapid developments in these countries has led to an increased number of vehicles and an increased complexity of traffic mix which, along with an infrastructure and law enforcement that are struggling to keep pace, appear to be key factors in increasing the number of road traffic injuries (RTIs), both fatal and non-fatal. The BRICS countries already account for approximately 20% of world’s deaths from RTIs and associated economic losses (which are estimated at 1-3% of the countries’ gross domestic products); this number is only expected to increase unless investments in road safety are made.

Recently, JH-IIRU team members, director Adnan Hyder and research assistant Andres Vecino-Ortiz, published, “BRICS: Opportunities to improve road safety” in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, which examines the relationship between economic growth and road traffic injuries, presents evidence on the current status of road traffic injuries and recommends improvement of road safety monitoring and evaluation.

Their research finds that in order to improve road safety, the five countries must invest in system-wide road safety interventions as well as collect more reliable data in order to track changes in more detail, increase law enforcement and research capacity.   

Read more here.

Road traffic crashes in India are the highest in the world, with more than half a million road traffic injuries and 120,000 related deaths each year. Because of these shocking figures, it is imperative that road safety policies and control programs are implemented at both the national and state levels as quickly as possible.

In order to effectively evaluate current policies, as well as formulate and implement new ones for the prevention of road traffic crashes, researchers must have good quality road traffic data.  John Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) team members, including Dr. Shivam Gupta and Shirin Wadhwaiya, along with colleagues from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, India, address this issue in “Evidence-Based Road Safety Practice in India: Assessment of the Adequacy of Publicly Available Data in Meeting Requirements for Comprehensive Road Safety Data Systems.”

The researchers used the recently published good practices manual on data collection from the World Health Organization (WHO) to compare current publicly available data sources from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH).  The study found that while data at the national level was more comprehensive than at the state level, there is still an urgent need to improve data collection and documentation at all levels, which will make possible continued effective road safety research.

“Evidence-Based Road Safety Practice in India: Assessment of the Adequacy of Publicly Available Data in Meeting Requirements for Comprehensive Road Safety Data Systems,” is part of “Public Health Burden of Road Traffic Injuries: An Assessment from Ten Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” a special issue of Traffic Injury Prevention published by the JH-IIRU as part of the Road Safety in 10 Countries project (RS-10). This landmark publication includes 11 scientific papers jointly authored with 50 colleagues from JH-IIRU and their in-country collaborators that contribute much-needed new knowledge to the burgeoning issue of road traffic injuries in low- and middle- income countries.

You can access the full article along with the entire special issue here.

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