Only four in 100 said they would help road accident victims, according to a survey

It is said that Delhiites are apathetic towards road accident victims, preferring to drive past them rather than helping the distressed.

A survey has now confirmed this widely held belief. Only four out of 100 respondents from the Capital said they would step in to help road accident victims. A whopping 96 per cent said irrespective of whether they were alone at the spot or in the presence of others, it was unlikely that they would come to the aid of those injured. The national average (74 per cent) points to a disturbing trend in a country where a large number of fatalities are caused because victims do not receive emergency medical care in the critical first hour after an accident.

Announcing the results of the survey here on Wednesday, Piyush Tewari, founder of SaveLife Foundation which conducted the study, said to dismiss this inaction as an act of apathy was unfair as there were several reasons responsible for the behaviour of those present at or near the accident spots.

The factors dissuading bystanders from assisting injured road accident victims could be many, but the outcome of such reluctance often proves to be the difference between life and death.

According to the survey, which interviewed 1,000 respondents in seven cities, legal hassles in the form of questioning by the police and repeated court appearances are the key factors which deter the respondents from playing the ‘Good Samaritan’ in someone’s hour of need.

Furthermore, the attitude of hospitals was also scrutinised. A high proportion of potential bystanders said that taking an accident victim to a hospital often leads to their being detained till the arrival of the police and asked to pay for the treatment.

Some respondents came up with suggestions such as installing cameras for closer scrutiny of roads as it would help in providing cogent evidence. This, in turn, would assuage the fear of those who are deterred by the apprehension of being falsely implicated, they said.

The survey was conducted between January and March 2013 in Delhi, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Indore and Kolkata and the respondents included pedestrians, vehicle owners and stationary stakeholders such as kiosk owners.

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