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UMTRI Technical Reports

January 18, 2009

New UMTRI report examines road safety in India

A new UMTRI report, Road Safety in India: Challenges and Opportunities, examines the current state of road traffic in India. The report is coauthored by Dinesh Mohan, a leading traffic research expert in India and a visiting researcher at UMTRI, and UMTRI researchers Omer Tsimhoni, Michael Sivak, and Michael Flannagan.

The report analyzes the traffic safety situation in India and identifies countermeasures for areas in which the total harm caused by crashes can be substantially and readily reduced. The report focuses on two aspects of traffic safety in India: challenges and opportunities.

The first part of the report comprehensively analyzes the current traffic safety situation in India, noting that fatality rates have increased both on highways and in urban areas during the past few years. Theoretical models suggest that the number of fatalities in India is not likely to start to decline for many years to come unless new policies are implemented.

Based on that analysis, the following six areas are identified as having potential for substantially reducing fatalities in India: (1) pedestrians and other non-motorists in urban areas, (2) pedestrians, other non-motorists, and slow vehicles on highways, (3) motorcycles and small cars in urban areas, (4) over-involvement of trucks and buses, (5) nighttime driving, and (6) wrong-way drivers on divided highways.

The second part of the report outlines several promising countermeasures for each of these six areas. The third part of the report presents a brief comparison of major traffic safety challenges in India and in China.

To obtain a copy of the report, please contact Michael Sivak.