Research Question/Objective: To create an accident database for India based on proven in-depth accident investigation methodologies from the US and Europe.
Methods: Researchers conducted the first ever in-depth crash investigation study in South India. Research was conducted on five accident-prone national highways in Tamil Nadu. Upon police notification, investigators examined 123 crashes on-site, followed by detailed inspections of vehicles and injury coding. The methodologies of NASS, the Pedestrian Crash Data Study (PCDS) and GIDAS were adapted to reflect the Indian experience. Injury reports obtained from hospitals were coded using the AIS and ICD-10.
Data Sources: Data were obtained from: 1) Examination of the crash scene followed by vehicle inspection; 2) Information from police reports; and 3) Injury information from hospital records and autopsy reports.
Results: 123 crashes resulting in 43 fatalities and 89 injured road users were examined. The following observations were made:
The use of safety systems, such as helmets and seat belts, continues to be low.
Conclusions: This study shows that detailed on-site crash investigation, with support of police and hospitals, provides significant benefits into understanding and mitigating injuries in India. This data also helps to address the effectiveness of infrastructure measures that are currently being developed in India.
Limitations of Study: Injury data was often sparse and not detailed. In addition, these studies focused on national highways in a rural area for one state. A followup study on urban streets and an expansion to other states is required to address all types of crashes and injuries.
What does the paper offer that is new in the field? This paper offers the first in-depth traffic crash research performed in India, with findings for improving vehicle, occupant and road safety.