A research study conducted recently by the neurosurgery department of Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) has attributed most of the road accidents in general, and around the temple city of Tirupati in particular, to behavioural issues on part of the driver.
The study was conducted by Assistant Professor G. Sriram under the headship of V.V. Ramesh Chandra of neurosurgery, where information was gathered from the accident victims through questionnaires.
Around 80% of the accidents was attributed to the driver behaviour, which includes 25% who did not possess a valid driving license. Driver behaviour here could mean recklessness, lack of concern for safety, lack of regard for rules, over-speeding and drunk driving.
‘Half of them occur after dusk’
The study pointed out that youth in the 15-35 age group comprised a major chunk of victims. More than half the accidents (54%) were witnessed after dusk, i.e., between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
“The study revealed that two-thirds of the mishaps involved two-wheelers and just 2% of the accident victims in four-wheelers were wearing seat belts. Also, driving behaviour has not changed between literate and illiterate victims,” observes Dr. Sriram.
The hospital studied 404 cases taken from the Tirupati-Kadapa and Tirupati-Anantapur highways over a period of 15 months, which included the lockdown time that witnessed a dip in accidents.
The road stretch between Tirupati and Renigunta witnessed most number of accidents. Around 40% of accidents within the city limits are caused by driving speed of above 50kmph, the study revealed.
The study is touted to be the first of its kind to use Google Map coordinates to zero in on the accident prone spots.
Laying stress on ‘gravity of mishap’, the study took up only accident cases that left patients with head injuries on scalp, skull, brain, underlying tissues and blood vessels in the head. The research paper, which has been submitted for publication in the ‘Neurology India’ journal, recommends to the policy makers to evolve schemes for prevention of accidents, acute care and rehabilitation.