Browse Publications Technical Papers 2021-26-0012

Estimation of Socio-Economic Loss due to Road Traffic Accidents in India 2021-26-0012

India witnessed 151,113 road deaths in the year 2019 and this alarming number is due to increased urbanization, motorization and per capita income. India is home to the 2nd largest road network in the world and accounts for the highest number of road deaths globally. Curbing the menace of road accidents requires tactical road safety policies and their effective implementation. The meagre availability of factual data regarding socio-economic loss due to road accidents is proving to be a hindrance to the ideation and implementation of the policies. The Planning Commission estimated the social costs of road accidents to be 7.9 billion $ in 1999/2000 which was roughly 3% of the country’s GDP and this value was revised to 14.3 billion $ in 2011.
Absence of data regarding the loss due to road accidents in the recent times, has been a motivating factor to estimate the socio economic loss due to accidents on Indian roads. Road traffic accident casualties bring about a great deal of human suffering in terms of social, medical and economic costs. The data from in-depth accident databases, police records, medical, and insurance and government reports has been utilized to calculate the loss incurred.
This realistic estimation brings out the magnitude of the loss to the eyes of the policymakers and public. The Human Capital (HC) method is used as the base method for evaluation of the socio-economic loss due to road accidents. The concept of Value of Statistical Life (VSL) and individual cost components from HC method are extended to the Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) and iRAP’s Rule of Thumb (RoT) methods. Irrespective of the method, the socio-economic loss for the year 2019 is estimated to be around 0.55% - 1.35% of India’s GDP. This reflects the paramount economic drag due to road casualties and highlights the importance of bringing in road safety policies to reduce road accidents, deaths and injuries. This study is one of the first to put the current accident figures in relation to the economic costs specifically for India and can be used as a basis for policy makers to further develop their studies to derive cost-benefit estimates for different measures.


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