Trauma is the major cause of young deaths all over world. More than 1.3 million people die each year as a result of road traffic injuries. This represents an average of 3442 persons dying each day around the world from road traffic injuries. Majority of deaths (90%) are in low-income and middle-income countries. Only 10% of the road traffic deaths occur in developed countries. In addition, 50 million people globally are estimated to be injured or disabled each year. For complex reasons, society seems to accept a lower standard of safety from road use compared with other means of transport.
WHO global burden of disease project, estimates that by 2020, road traffic injuries will become the second leading cause of disability adjusted life years lost in developing countries worldwide and the third leading cause in the developed world. Road traffic injuries will rise in rank to sixth place from eleventh place as a major cause of death worldwide. Road traffic deaths will increase to 2.5 million worldwide, increasing on average by over 80% in low-income and middle-income countries while declining by almost 30% in high-income countries.
Trauma-care systems in India are in various stages of development with progress being made on the previous lack of organized trauma care. There is still great variation in trauma services in various parts of the country. Education in trauma response and emergency life-support has only recently become available. Injury is recognized as a major public-health problem and there are new initiatives under National Health Policy 2002, which are expected to result in improvement in the systems.
An unprecedented increase in the number of vehicles has outpaced the developed of adequate roads and highways. India has 1.2 % of total motor vehicles in the world, but bears the burden of 6% of the global vehicular accidents. Strict road-safety measures and effective law enforcement remain priorities. With a population over one billion and an annual urbanization rate of 26%, the magnitude of the problem is a cause for concern. In India an estimated 10% of deaths are due to trauma. Road-traffic accidents are increasing at an alarming annual rate of 3%. In 1997, 10.1% of all deaths in India were due to accidents and injuries. A vehicular accident is reported every 3 minutes and a death every 6 minutes on India roads; by 2020 that figure is projected to reach more than 1 every 3 minutes.
One hospital-based study in New Delhi found that 16% of injured pedestrians had been struck by motorized two-wheelers. The high number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities not only reflects their inherent vulnerability but also insufficient attention to their needs in policy-making.
Use of crash helmets has been shown to reduce fatal and serious head injuries by 20% to 40% and to be the most successful approach for preventing injury among motorized two-wheeler riders. Non-helmeted motorized two-wheelers are three times more likely to sustain head injuries in a crash than those wearing helmets. A study of crash victims admitted in a neurosurgery ward in New Delhi showed that riders who used any type of helmet with some protective padding benefited. Helmet use is very variable in some low-income countries and some special exemptions to certain religious groups, such as Sikhs also exist.
Almost all of the demonstrable gains produced by changing road user behavior in high-income countries have resulted from traffic safety laws. However, laws themselves are not sufficient, the key factor in the effectiveness of a traffic law is motorist perception that they have a high risk of detection and punishment for violation of the law. In countries like India where perceptions are that such laws are not likely to be enforced, level of helmet use is less.
In year 2011, over 429 road traffic fatalities occurred with 130 mortalities in Chandigarh. This is a documented statistics gathered from various sources and many go unreported.