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Economically productive youth are at the highest risk of sustaining injuries due to road accidents, a study has claimed. Around 1.25 million people die every year on the world's roads.
According to data available with the WHO, only 47 countries follow good practice on one of the main speed management measures, namely implementing an urban speed limit of 50 kmph or less, says the George Institute for Global Health India. The Institute said it conducted a study of 2,200 people this year, in three hospitals in north India, with one of its collaborators from PGI, Chandigarh, highlighting the health, social and economic burden of road injuries. "It was revealed that 10 per cent of people die post- discharge (from hospital) and that more than a third of the families experienced financial distress due to injuries. "It is the young economically productive age group that is at the highest risk, and it is estimated that the total cost incurred due to road injuries is three per cent of India's GDP, which is more than our entire health budget," the study claimed. The Institute in association with World Health Organisation yesterday organised a workshop on road safety and injury which aimed at providing an overview of regional burden of road traffic injuries. Experts from the Institute, the WHO, senior officials from the traffic police, officials from the Ministry of Road Transport, deliberated on various aspects of road safety and injuries from both Indian, as well as a global perspective, the Institute today said. Patanjali Dev Nayar, Regional Adviser - Disability, Injury prevention and Rehabilitation, WHO-SEARO, presented the core data on road traffic injuries for the South-East Asian region and highlighted the fact that "vulnerable groups such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists make up 47 per cent of road traffic deaths in the region". Five key risk factors -- over speeding, drunk-driving, riding two-wheelers without helmets, driving four-wheelers without seat-belts and not using child restraints in four- wheelers -- were discussed. "If the situation doesn't improve and necessary interventions and actions are not taken, the road injury deaths are predicted to rise from ninth biggest killers in 2015 to seventh biggest in 2030," the Institute said.
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