As many as 99 per cent of Indian pedestrians are at risk of injury with about one in every ten traffic-related fatalities in the country being a pedestrian, according to a report by Bosch Ltd.
In 2021, India's pedestrian fatalities numbered 29,200, exceeding the combined road fatalities of the entire European Union and Japan with another 60,000 pedestrians injured, said the report based on accident database of over 6,300 cases of the Road Accident Sampling System for India (RASSI).
"Every second pedestrian accident in 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," Bosch Ltd said in a statement.
Bosch India Principal Advisor Road Safety, Future Mobility & Expert Accident Research, Girikumar Kumaresh said the report 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.
"Today, pedestrian safety is a crucial aspect of road safety, and it is concerning to see the high number of pedestrian accidents in India," Kumaresh added.
Human error with 91 per cent is the leading contributor to pedestrian accidents in India, followed by infrastructure at 63 per cent and vehicle-related factors at 44 per cent, as per the report.
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All three factors contribute in one way or the other for the crash. In many cases all three factors will be the major contributors, it said. "Hence a holistic approach towards solving the problems must be established in order to mitigate pedestrian accidents."
"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," it added.
In the western world the driver stops the vehicle and allows the pedestrian to cross but in India pedestrians stop and allow the vehicle to pass, it added.
The report further said daytime accidents are a bigger threat to Indian pedestrians than night-time accidents with 52 per cent of accidents occuring during the day.
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