The Relation between Road Safety and the Economy

The Relation between Road Safety and the Economy

Although almost all people have an idea about the risks and fatal consequences associated with road accidents, only a very few know that accidents taking place on roads have a very close relationship with the economy of the country.

Every individual who gets injured, disabled, or dies in a road accident drastically affects the lives of various other people depending on him or her. Both the survivors and the members of their families either lose a breadwinner or have to spend a lot on the hospital bills. Needless to say, a large number of people around those injured or dead have to go through various social and psychological effects.

As per a recent World Bank study, minimizing road accidents and injuries can trigger substantial long-term income gains, particularly in middle-income countries. The study introduces a new international methodology to evaluate the economic effect of road safety and analysis of cases that happened in countries such as India, China, the Philippines, Tanzania, and Thailand. The study also quantifies how investments made in inappropriate road safety equal to an investment made in human capital.

The study has also found that countries that don’t spend enough on road safety have chances of losing a potential per capita income between 7 to 22% over 24 years. All this makes policymakers to think over prioritizing investments in better road safety.

Some facts as pointed out in the report in a nutshell:

Making use of the detailed data on deaths due to road accidents and economic indicators from around 135 countries, the study says that-

  • A 10% reduction in road accidents deaths raises per capita real GDP by 3.6% over a 24-year horizon.
  • Halving the deaths due to road accidents could add 7% in the Philippines and Tanzania, 22% in Thailand, 15% in China, and 14% per capita GDP in India.
  • Apart from the GDP gains, road safety interventions can bring betterment in the welfare benefits to society.

What’s the way left?

Although the governments around the globe are already making various efforts to prevent accidents on their nationwide road networks, there is a lot needed to be done in this regard. In most countries, road safety campaigns seem to be effectively working only in the files of the government officials. Be it the installation of a sufficient amount of Electronic Speed Signs or any other measure, the lack of political will power can be easily seen in the efforts made.

Road safety is a collective responsibility when seen in a broader sense, and hence the socially responsible people also need to come out making efforts for the same. However, some people have already started their regimens by mounting Radar Speed Signs in their localities, particularly along the streets that are speed-sensitive. Speed signs are one of the most affordable and convenient devices that can greatly help in preventing a large number of road accidents, particularly in the streets that have accidents prone zones. Once installed, these devices need almost no maintenance and work round the clock for the safety of not only the drivers but also the pedestrians sharing the road with them.

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