Cost of road accidents in India at $15-38 billion, claims Bosch study

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on October 25, 2021

It is estimated to be 0.55–1.35% of the nation’s GDP

A study by the Accident Research team from Bosch India’s Advanced Autonomous Safety Systems and Corporate Research department has claimed that the total socio-economic cost due to road traffic accidents in India is $15.71-38.81 billion, which is estimated to be 0.55–1.35 per cent of the nation’s GDP.

Bosch said that the data will serve as a reference for policy makers to derive cost-benefit estimates for economic loss incurred by the respective stakeholders through the Human Capital (HC) method, Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) method and iRAP’s Rule of Thumb (RoT) method. This study, the company claimed, was the first of its kind to utilise suitable weighting factors from the Road Accident Sampling System of India (RASSI) database to offer a holistic view on the national scale.

Nearly 781,668 vehicles were involved in road accident in 2019 according to RASSI weighted data, amounting to $0.57–1.81 billion in damage, the study noted. The damage costs include $356.2 million for commercial vehicles, $69.8 million for cars, $18.7 million for two wheelers, and $39.6 million for buses. The total medical cost of the road traffic accidents victims in 2019 was close to $0.82–1.92 billion. The report provides OEMs, fleet operators and transport authorities with an accurate view of accident situations and can be leveraged to tailor technological innovations, counter measures, and policies to make Indian roads safer, it claimed.

Bridging data gap

Bosch said that any stakeholder can support road safety by bridging the data gap and building on the framework provided here, hence bringing further road reforms. The methodology and results of this study can contribute in deriving a cost benefit analysis of various road safety technologies and thus help enforce them towards making Indian roads safer for all its users.

Girikumar Kumaresh, Senior Programme Manager, Head-Accident Research India, Advanced Autonomous Safety Systems at Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions said, “Road traffic accident casualties bring about a great deal of human suffering in terms of social, medical and economic costs, and it is crucial we mitigate them. The absence of data regarding the loss due to road accidents was the motivating factor for us to study and analyse the socio-economic impact of road accidents in India. This research is a testament to two years of hard work combining studies from the World Bank and World Economic Forum, and over 50 international journals underpinned by Bosch’s innovative method to estimate socio-economic loss due to road traffic accidents in India.”

Published on October 25, 2021

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