India is in transition from a largely agriculture based to an industry- and technology-focused economy. It is the largest country in the South–Asian region with a very high youth and middle-aged population, which given the changing economy, has largely adopted mechanized transport. Although in absence of hospital based data for trauma mortality, according to National Crimes Record Bureau 169,000 lives were lost on Indian roads in 2014. India has the highest Road crash mortality in the world. This spurt in vehicular density, however, has been so rapid that there has been little time spent by citizens and policy makers alike, on safety parameters associated with such high levels of mechanization. Traumatic injuries involving animals – horses, buffalo, cow, and bull – are almost exclusively seen in rural areas and on the associated highway networks. Multiplicity of road users competing for the same space on highways leads to frequent road crashes. The attitude of the public is devoid of a basic sense of safe driving, as exemplified by the high prevalence of driving without routine seatbelt use and drunken driving. The younger generation casually violates traffic laws and frequently disregards existing speed limits, a phenomenon especially common among the users of twoâï¿½ï¿½wheelers. Another disconcerting phenomenon is the widespread neglect for the use of protective gear such as helmets. This is accompanied by a staggering increase in the socioeconomic burden, depletion of human resources, as well as emotional and psychological trauma on caregivers. As a result, the already overly taxed healthcare delivery system is put under additional strain.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi