India loses $58 billion annually due to road accidents: UN study

UN study finds India is behind only Japan among the 19 countries covered in the Asia-Pacific region regarding cost of road accidents


In the Asia-Pacific, one person is killed on the road every 40 seconds, which means 15,000 lives per week. Photo: PTI
In the Asia-Pacific, one person is killed on the road every 40 seconds, which means 15,000 lives per week. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: India’s GDP takes a 3% hit every year due to road accidents, equivalent to over $58 billion in value terms, a United Nations (UN) study has found out.

Conducted by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the study says that in value terms, the country is behind Japan among the 19 countries covered in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Indian economy takes a 3% hit every year due to road traffic accidents, which is over $58,000 million in terms of value,” the study said. India is only behind Japan ($63,000 million) in terms of value while in terms of GDP loss, it comes behind Iran which is at 6% ($30,697 million), it added.

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“The total loss to GDP to these nations is to the tune of $2,93,568 million annually,” UNESCAP chief of transport policy and development section Peter O’Neill said. He was speaking at a three-day conference organised by the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) here.

Expressing concern over the high rate of road accident fatalities in India, O’Neill called for better policies and stricter enforcement of regulations to promote road safety of road users, particularly two-wheeler users. In the Asia-Pacific, one person is killed on the road every 40 seconds, which means 15,000 lives per week, he said adding that “to avoid this, we need road safety management, safer roads, safer vehicles and better post-crash response mechanism”. IRTE president Rohit Baluja said there are rules that make use of helmets mandatory, but “very few” two-wheeler users take it seriously.

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