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Bosch Limited have released India’s first comprehensive study analysing pedestrian behaviour in India during the seventh UN Global Road Safety Week.

The report released by Bosch aims to understand the characteristics of pedestrian crashes in India and to identify counter-measures that can improve road safety in India.

The report reveals that pedestrian crashes are a major safety concern in India, with about one in every ten traffic-related fatalities in the country being a pedestrian. In 2021, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) registered 68,053 pedestrian crashes in 2021, which contributed to 16.5 per cent of the total accidents that year.

The report, based on the in-depth accident database of over 6,300 cases of the Road Accident Sampling System for India (RASSI), reveals that pedestrian crashes are a significant safety concern in India.

Here are the key takeaways from the report:

As high as 99 per cent of pedestrians are susceptible to injury. Shockingly, India’s 2021 pedestrian fatalities numbered 29,200, which exceeded the combined road fatalities of the entire European Union and Japan, with another 60,000 pedestrians injured. Every second pedestrian accident on rural roads contributes to pedestrian fatality. However, in urban and semi-urban areas, the fatality risk of pedestrians is relatively lower in comparison with rural roads.

The report also found that human error is the leading contributor to pedestrian accidents in India, followed by infrastructure and vehicle-related factors. One unique behaviour in Indian accidents observed by the report is where close to 12 per cent of pedestrians cross halfway and stop in the middle of the road to allow the vehicle to move on the other lane. In the western world, the driver stops the vehicle and allow the pedestrian to cross and in India pedestrian stops and allows the vehicle to pass.

The report also reveals that daytime accidents are a bigger threat to Indian pedestrians than night-time accidents – 52 per cent of accidents occur during the day.

There can be no “one reason” for the pedestrian accidents. Each accident has multi-level contributing factors from either of human, infrastructure, and vehicle or all combined together. human error contributed 91 per cent, infrastructure 63 per cent and vehicle 44 per cent.

All the three factors shown contributes in one way or the other for crash. In many cases all three factors will be the major contributors. Hence a holistic approach towards the solving the problems must be established in order to mitigate pedestrian accidents.

Commenting on the launch of the report, Girikumar Kumaresh, Principal Advisor Road Safety, Future Mobility and Expert Accident Research, Bosch India, said “At Bosch, we are committed to make roads safer for everyone. Today, pedestrian safety is a crucial aspect of road safety, and it is concerning to see the high number of pedestrian accidents in India. Our report on Indian Pedestrian Behaviour sheds light on the contributing factors to pedestrian accidents and highlights the need for effective road safety measures and a multi-dimensional approach to improve traffic safety in India. As individuals, we must also prioritize safety by following traffic rules and being vigilant on the roads.”

Story: Alshin Thomas

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About the author: Alshin Thomas



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