Road Accidents In India: Gopinath Munde’s Death Makes Us Question The Bigger Problem Again

India accounts for about 10% of road crash fatalities worldwide. In terms of absolute numbers more people die in road crashes in India than anywhere else in the world.

The news of union minister and Maharashtra mass leader Gopinath Munde’s accident and then death due to fatal injuries came as an early shock to the country today. Munde was en-route to the airport when an Indica rammed into the backseat from the other side at 6.30 AM. Munde fell from the seat due the impact and sustained injury to his nose and mouth.

He even asked for water from his personal security officer and driver, who were accompanying him to the airport, and then asked them to take him to a hospital. The staff took 10 minutes to reach AIIMS Trauma Centre but it was too late.

Munde had no sign of cardiac activity, he was unconscious, not breathing, and had no pulse. After repeatedly giving him CPR for 50 minutes, doctors declared him dead as they failed to start his heart again.

The preliminary post mortem report says that Munde’s lever ruptured and he suffered a massive cardiac arrest due to the shock in the aftermath of the accident. The internal injury, blood loss and cardiac arrest resulted in his demise.

The driver of the Indica was nabbed by the police who said that his car’s speed was 40 km/h. He also said that it was Munde’s driver who jumped the red light. While the responsibility of such a fatal accident will be awarded after proper enquiry, the case has again shed light on the various road accidents and death in the country.

Munde’s is not the only one.

If we remember, we lost famous comedian and satirist Jaspal Bhatti in one such road accident last year. And we continue to lose many near and dear ones to the brutality of road rage and accidents.

India witnessed one road accident every minute in 2011 which claimed one life every 3.7 minutes, one of the highest in the world. Mint reported last year: As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), in the year 2011 there were 440,123 road accidents resulting in the death of 136,834 people. The incidence of accidental deaths increased by 44.2% in 2011 from 2001.

India accounts for about 10% of road crash fatalities worldwide. In terms of absolute numbers more people die in road crashes in India than anywhere else in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the death rate per 100,000 populations for road traffic accident has increased from 16.8 in 2009 to 18.9 in 2013.

This estimate is much higher than the rate in high income countries (8.7 per 100,000) and middle-income neighbouring countries like. Indonesia (17.7), Pakistan (17.4), Nepal (16), Myanmar (15), Sri Lanka (13.7), Bhutan (13.2), Mauritius (12.2) and Bangladesh (11.6).

A report in Hindustan Times presented the following figure:


While The Hindu presented these:





We lack in road safety measures. Although the road and transport ministry, traffic police of various cities and various NGOs run different programmes and several campaigns on safe driving, accidents do occur in the country on a daily basis. Many times, people turn a blind eye and do not help the victims. This increases the risk and reduces their chances of survival.

In addition to that absence or distance of medical facility from the spot of accident plays a big role in turning an accident into a fatal one. Absence of well equipped ambulances and lack of knowledge of first aid among the general people and ambulance staff is another problem.

What we need is proper research and analysis as to how we can avert these problems. We need to assure people that they will not be unnecessary harassed if they bring a road accident victim to a hospital. We need to impart first aid knowledge to our children. And we also need to find ways to safer roads.

If not, road accidents will keep grabbing headlines and resulting in untimel death of our near and dear ones.

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