Pedestrian crashes in Bangalore: Part 4
Pedestrians are at a grave risk in our cities given that only a small percentage of road space– most often unsegregated and unguarded—is allocated to them despite their high vulnerability and exposure to crashes. Therefore, it is not surprising that nearly half of all road deaths in Bangalore in 2017 comprised pedestrians. It is important to understand where, when, and how these crashes occurred, so that logical and local solutions may be developed to address challenges. As of today, the most comprehensive data available is that that is collected by the city traffic police through First Information Reports (FIRs).
Through our current blog series, we are discussing some of the key patterns of fatal pedestrian crashes in Bangalore based on analysis of FIRs collected from the police. In our previous blogs, we discussed where pedestrian crashes are most concentrated, during what times the crashes peak, and how these crashes occurred. This is the final blog on pedestrian crashes in Bangalore in 2017, which will present the victim profile and specifically discuss about who are most affected in these crashes.
A distribution of fatalities based on victims’ age (recorded in 95% of the cases) reveals that a majority of pedestrians dying on our roads are middle-aged or old people. Nearly a third of all pedestrians (whose age was recorded in the FIR) being killed are above 60 years of age. This statistic sticks out when we compare it with a well-known fact that road crashes impact young people under the age of 35 years disproportionately. As per a recent report published by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, only about 6% of all road deaths in our country involve persons above 60 years of age. This means that our road traffic environment is hostile to young motorists and to older pedestrians. One of the primary reasons for this could be that most road in our cities do not have navigable footpaths or pedestrian crossings suitable for old people who are comparatively less agile. In the arterial roads, noticeably, the roads are wide without any provision of safe spaces for the pedestrians to wait on the roadside or in the median while crossing
In high severity areas such as Madiwala, Banaswadi, Whitefield, and Rajajinagar, nearly half of the victims were old persons above 60 years. At the same time, relatively safer areas such as Basavangudi, Vijayangar, and Pulakeshinagar also had proportionately high number of old victims. Around 77% of the victims were male, and the rest 23% were female. The percentage of female victims is still higher as compared to that of all road crash victims reported in India (13.6% in 2017).
A majority of deaths happened after the victim was admitted to the hospital. About one sixth of all victims died at the site of the crash without receiving the needed medical aid. Nearly half of the victims who died at the crash site were run over by the colliding vehicle. About 29% of the fatal cases were known to have involved a “hit and run”. In 23% of the cases the accused person hit and ran with the vehicle, and in 6% of the cases, the accused left the vehicle behind at the crash spot. “Hit and run” was also a prominent pattern among at-crash site deaths. Some of such deaths could be prevented if victims are attended to immediately after the crash.
The mode of transport employed to ferry the victim to the hospital was unknown in 67% of the cases. For the cases where this was recorded, it was found that “Auto” was the most common mode of transport. In an almost equal number of cases, the victim was transported to the hospital in the vehicle of the accused, whereas the usage of ambulance was relatively lesser.
This is the last of a four-part series that presents analyses from a pedestrian crash data study in the city of Bangalore. The study was based on FIR reports collected from the Bangalore Traffic Police for pedestrian crashes reported in the year 2017. The data was obtained through relevant RTI applications.