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Reasons for road traffic accidents—victims’ perspective

Jatinder Singh, Manjote Kour Sahni, Safoora Bilquees, S.M Saleem Khan, Inaamul Haq.

Background: Worldwide, the number of people killed in road traffic accidents each year is estimated at almost 1.2 million, whereas the number injured is believed to be as high as 50 million—the combined population of five of the world’s large cities.

Objective: To find out the reasons leading to road traffic accident in the opinion of the road traffic accident victims.

Materials and Methods: It is a descriptive study performed in two tertiary health-care delivery institutes in Kashmir. It included 316 victims of road traffic accidents who reported to BJH & SMHS hospitals in 1 year period. Demographic characteristics of the victims, time, day, and month of accidents were the variables studied. Other study variables included were category of road users involved in road traffic accidents and reasons of accidents in the opinion of the accident victims. Data collected was analyzed in terms of proportions and percentages.

Result: There were 80.7% male and 19.3% female accident victims. Students were the maximum (22.2%) among the victims. Majority of accidents occurred in the second quarter 100 (32%) of the year whereas the first quarter experienced the least 51 (16%) accidents. Those driving the vehicles constituted the largest (44.9%) of the victims followed by pedestrians (31.6%). Among the motorized vehicles, two wheeler drivers were more (44.3%) involved in accidents. The most common substance abused was tobacco 148 (46.8%) whereas alcohol abuse was seen in only 2 (0.6%) cases.

Conclusion: Road crash injury is largely preventable and predictable since it is a human-made problem hence is amenable to rational analysis and countermeasure.

Key words: Road crashes, traffic, accidents, seat belts

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