The burden of road traffic injuries in South Asia: a commentary

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2004 Dec;14(12):707-8.


Around 238,000 people die in road crashes every year in South Asian countries. However, no information on road traffic injuries in South Asian countries is available to estimate the magnitude of the problem in terms of the various levels of severity. It has been estimated that for one RTI death, there are 20 hospitalizations, 50 emergency room visits, and more than 100 minor injuries. Together with the social impact in terms of pain, grief and suffering, RTIs impose a very large economic burden on the countries affected. Considering a gross estimate of 1% of GDP as economic loss from RTIs in South Asian countries runs into US$ 25 billion a year which is more than 50% the total annual amount of development assistance worldwide. The main reasons for high burden of road traffic injuries in this region are growth in the number of motor vehicles, poor enforcement of traffic safety regulations, poor quality of roads and vehicles, and inadequate public health infrastructures.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic* / economics
  • Accidents, Traffic* / statistics & numerical data
  • Asia
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Developing Countries*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans