As the UN observes World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, at least 13,620 lost their lives and over 1.19 million people have been injured in 996,032 road traffic crashes in 32 districts of Punjab in the last 1,609 days.
As many as 703,407 injured people, or 71% of the total victims, were shifted to the hospital in an unconscious and unstable condition. This was according to data of road traffic crashes (RTCs) from June 17, 2013- November 14, 2o17. The figures were compiled by Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122.
Besides leaving thousands of people dead or handicapped, road traffic accidents affected the lives of many families as many bread earners fell victim to RTCs. Data showed that 79.38% of the total victims, i.e. 948,750 victims, were male of which 51% were between the age of 21-40.
On average, nine people lost lives and 619 people were injured daily. Keeping in view the loss caused by RTCs, it was a matter of grave concern was that these numbers had increased with each passing year.
In 2013, on average 525 RTCs were reported daily. In 2014, the number rose to 551. The year 2015 saw another steep rise as the average of daily incidents jumped to 622. In 2016, 654 RTCs were reported daily. In 2017, the average per day crossed 700 as 710 RTCs were reported on a daily basis, according to Rescue 1122 data.
The average number of casualties caused by RTCs has increased steadily since 2013.
In 2o13 and 2014, seven people died on average. In 2015, the death toll rose to 8.47 deaths per day. In 2016, that figure jumped up to 11.21 casualties per day, while it came down a little bit for 2017 to 10.25.
According to the data, 102,866 RTCs were recorded from June 17, 2013 to December 31, 2013 in which 126,059 people were injured and 1,325 people died.
In 2014, 245,397 persons were injured in 201,120 incidents and 2,547 people lost their lives during the period. In 2015, 274,244 victims were injured in 227,390 RTCs while 3,094 people had died during the period. In 2016, 283,085 people fell victim to 238,782 accidents and 4,094 victims died during the period.
In 2017, 266,475 people fell victim to 225,874 RTCs and 3,260 victims lost their lives during the period.
Lahore topped all the 32 districts in road accidents. Lahore was followed by Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and Bahawalpur with the highest number of incidents.
Causes of RTCs
According to Rescue 1122 data, speeding was the reason behind 43% of total RTCs. As many as 432,569 accidents were reported due to speeding in the last 1,609 days.
Around 33% or 327,418 of the total were caused by carelessness. Eight per cent or 79,033 accidents were caused by motorists taking the wrong turn, while U-turn was the cause of 56,648 RTCs.
A total of 8,870 RTCs were caused by bursting tyres and 840 were the result of wheelies. Data compiled by Rescue 1122 did not carry poor road-infrastructure as a cause behind RTCs.
The number of causalities may be higher than the data of Rescue 1122 as many victims, who were alive but unstable at the time of shifting to a hospital, may have died some days later.