Journal of Medical Society

ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year
: 2022  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 48--51

Epidemiological survey of fatal road traffic accident in Imphal, Manipur


Pabitramala Nandeibam1, Khangembam Pradipkumar2, Supriya Keisham2, Huidrom Nabachandra1,  
1 Department of Forensic Medicine, Zoram Medical College, Falkawn, Mizoram
2 Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, RIMS, Imphal, Manipur, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Supriya Keisham
Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, RIMS, Imphal - 795 004, Manipur
India

Abstract

Background: Approximately 1.3 million people die each year as a result of road traffic accidents (RTAs). According to the National Crime Record Bureau, a total of 368,828 traffic accidents were reported in the country in 2020, and out of these, 96% of the cases were due to RTAs with 354,796 cases and 37% fatality. Objectives: The objective is to study the demographic profile of victims of fatal road accidents. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in the department of forensic medicine of a tertiary care teaching hospital in Imphal on all cases of fatal RTA brought in between October 2015 and September 2018. All data including the postmortem findings were analyzed and presented. Results: Out of 478 medicolegal autopsies conducted during the study period, 159 (33.3%) were vehicular accident fatalities. The majority of the victims were males in the age group of >20–30 years (22.64%) and pedestrians (30.82%). Most of the accidents (40.88%) occurred during the afternoon period between 12 Noon and 6 PM and in the winter months (50.9%), with maximum cases occurring on national highways (55.3%). The cause of death of the victims was due to head injuries in 42.14%. Conclusions: Several factors are responsible for RTAs. There is clearly a need for road safety education among road users. The licensing authorities should adopt stricter, more comprehensive, and scientifically based test.



How to cite this article:
Nandeibam P, Pradipkumar K, Keisham S, Nabachandra H. Epidemiological survey of fatal road traffic accident in Imphal, Manipur.J Med Soc 2022;36:48-51


How to cite this URL:
Nandeibam P, Pradipkumar K, Keisham S, Nabachandra H. Epidemiological survey of fatal road traffic accident in Imphal, Manipur. J Med Soc [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Nov 26 ];36:48-51
Available from: https://www.jmedsoc.org/text.asp?2022/36/2/48/361283


Full Text



 Introduction



A road traffic accident (RTA) is any vehicular accident occurring on a public road (i.e., originating on, terminating on, or involving a vehicle partially on the road). These accidents, therefore, include collisions between various kinds of vehicle or with bicycles or pedestrians or fixed obstacles.[1] Approximately 1.3 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes.[2] According to the National Crime Record Bureau, a total of 368,828 traffic accidents were reported in the country in 2020, and out of these, 96% of the cases were due to RTA with 354,796 cases and 37% fatality.[3] This study was undertaken to find out the demographic profile of RTA cases in Manipur.

 Materials and Methods



After obtaining approval from the institutional ethics committee, a prospective study was carried out in the department of forensic medicine and toxicology of a tertiary care teaching hospital in Imphal on all cases of fatal RTA brought in between October 2015 and September 2018. Decomposed bodies were excluded from the study. Particulars of the victim, date, time, and place of the accident, and any other relevant history were obtained from the relatives, accompanying persons, as well as investigating police officers, and also from hospital records and were recorded in the pro forma. All the data including the postmortem findings were analyzed by SPSS version 21.0 (Armonk, NY, USA: IBM Corp) and presented.

 Results



Out of 478 medicolegal autopsies conducted during the study period, 159 (33.3%) were vehicular accident fatalities. The majority of the victims were male (86.16%), with the male: female ratio being 7.2:1 [Figure 1]. The highest number of victims was observed in the age group of >20–30 years (22.64%) followed by the age groups of >30–40 years (16.98%) and >40–50 years (16.98%) as shown in [Figure 2]. Most of the victims were Meiteis (77.36%) followed by Manipuri tribal (12.57%). Only 7.55% of the victims were illiterate while 25.78% were graduates and 25.15% were undergraduates.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}

As evident from [Table 1], the maximum number of cases was from urban areas (53.46%) followed by semi-urban (32.08%) and rural areas (14.46%). Most of the victims of RTA in our study were pedestrians (30.82%), followed by two-wheeler riders (26.41%) as depicted in [Figure 3]. In our study, 50.95% of the victims were knocked down by vehicle, while 22.64% of the victims died because of self-accidents, and the remaining 26.41% were killed in vehicular collision.{Table 1}

As shown in [Figure 4], most of the accidents (40.88%) occurred during the afternoon period between 12 Noon and 6 PM followed by night time between 6 PM and 12 Midnight (35.22%) and the least during 12 Midnight to 6 AM (5.66%). Most of the cases were seen in the winter months (50.9%) followed by the rainy season (25.2%). In this study, the maximum number of fatal road traffic happens on national highways (55.5%) followed by metaled approach roads (28.3%) which is shown in [Figure 5].{Figure 3}{Figure 4}{Figure 5}

[Figure 6] shows that the major cause of death of the victims of RTA was found to be due to head injuries in 67 cases (42.14%) followed by head injuries with vital organ injuries in 48 cases (30.19%) and vital organ injuries with internal bleeding in 44 cases (27.67%).{Figure 6}

Of the total cases, 30.22% of the victims died on the spot, while 37.11% survive less than 6 h and 3.14% survive for more than 1 week.

 Discussion



In this study, most of the victims were males (86.16%), and the male: female ratio was 7.2:1. These findings are in agreement with the findings of other authors.[4],[5],[6] This may be because most of the male population is working population and tends to be more outdoor using one or the other forms of transportation. On the other hand, females are usually confined to household work. In the study conducted in Worcestershire and New Delhi, the highest incidence was recorded in the age group of 17–24 years[7] and 21–30 years (38.2%),[4] respectively. These findings were comparable to our study as the highest number of victims was observed in the age group of >20–30 years (22.64%) followed by the age groups of >30–40 years (16.98%) and >40–50 years (16.98%), respectively. The reason could be because younger age groups tend to be overconfident, leading to fast and reckless driving.

In this study, most of the victims were Meiteis (77.36%) followed by Manipuri tribal (12.57%) and Manipuri Muslims (5.66%). This might be due to the dominance of Meitei community in the valley area of Manipur where our study was based.

Only 7.55% of the victims were illiterate, while 25.78% were graduates and 25.15% were undergraduates in our study. From these findings, we can conclude that the incidence of RTA is not related to literacy level.

Maximum number of cases was from urban areas (53.46%) followed by semi-urban (32.07%) and rural areas (14.46%), which is in contrast to the findings of Gjerde et al.[8] where maximum cases were seen in rural areas. This may be due to the fact that the condition of the roads is not good and not well planned to accommodate the rising number of vehicles, leading to congested roads in the urban areas of this part of the country.

The highest number of victims in our study was constituted by pedestrians (30.82%) followed by two-wheeler riders (26.41%). This is in accordance with the findings of other studies.[4],[9],[10] Predominance of pedestrian victims can be explained by the fact that there is a lack of proper footpaths with narrow roads not only due to encroachment by vendors and other commercial installations but also due to lack of knowledge of traffic rules by road users. Besides, majority of road users are pedestrians and are comparatively more exposed to the risk of accidents.

In this study, most of the accidents (40.88%) occurred in the afternoon between 12 Noon and 6 PM followed by nighttime between 6 PM and 12 Midnight (35.22%) and the least during 12 Midnight to 6 AM (5.66%). This is consistent with the findings of Gjerde et al.[8] However, some authors observed more accidents at nighttime involving intoxicated subjects.[9],[11] This difference can be attributed to the fact that there is no nightlife in the state, with most people preferring to stay indoors during the night time. Most of the cases happened in the winter months (50.9%) and along national highways (55.3%), similar to the findings in a study carried out by Harnam and Dhattarwal.[12] This can be explained by the reduced visibility in winter and higher speed of driving on highways.

The major cause of death of the victims of RTA was found to be due to head injuries only in 67 cases (42.14%), followed by head injuries with vital organ injuries in 48 cases (30.19%) and vital organ injuries with internal bleeding in 44 cases (27.67%). This is in agreement with the findings of Ricci et al.[1] where majority of the cases (32%) had cranial injuries. This may be due to the lax traffic rules, where wearing head gear and helmets is mandatory but not enforced properly in this part of the country. Moreover, higher percentage of younger people favor two-wheeler in the state. In our study, maximum cases succumbed within the first 6 h (37.1%) followed by spot death (30.2%). Similar findings were also observed by others in another study.[13] The reason may be due to the inadequate emergency facility in most of our hospitals.

 Conclusions



Several factors are responsible for RTAs. There is clearly a need for road safety education among the road users. It should be started from preschool level. Hence, the spread of awareness of road safety measures along with strict imposition of traffic rules is the need of the hour. The licensing authorities should adopt stricter, more comprehensive, and scientifically based tests laying stress on road rules, regulations, and traffic control devices to improve driving skills. Apart from this, they can be given training in first-aid skills so that victims are attended to immediately in the postaccident period. Moreover, there is ample room for the improvement of road conditions in the state.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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