Navigating The Road Safety Crisis In Developing Countries

Navigating The Road Safety Crisis In Developing Countries

Navigating The Road Safety Crisis In Developing Countries 1280 720 Tecknotrove

Increase in population is one of the main causes of road accidents. The surge in population has not only resulted in a growing Automotive industry but also extensive use of vehicles, leading to an increased pressure on bettering road infrastructure.

According to WHO, globally, road rages result in approximately 1.19 million fatal accidents while leaving 20-50 million people with non-fatal injuries. 9 in 10 fatalities occur among the Lower Income Country (LIC) and Middle Income Countries (MIC), even though these countries have around 60% of the world’s vehicles. In addition the most affected in these countries are children and young adults in the age group of 5-29 years. Globally 53% of road traffic accidents involve the vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists, and motor cyclists. India- which  is the most populous country in the world is struggling to enforce road safety law on its citizens.

Adding to the fatalities caused by road accidents, the victim’s family sustains a heavy economic burden through treatment costs for the injured. The loss of productivity of those killed or disabled, affects 3% of a country’s annual GDP.

Road Accidents are really draining countries of its resources in all ways !

Lets look at the TOP 10 REASONS WHY ROAD ACCIDENTS ARE BECOMING AN EPIDEMIC in lower and Medium Income Countries like South Africa, India, Vietnam, Philippines , Bangladesh, Sri Lanka to name a few.


Traffic injuries are one of the major contributors of mortality among the children and youth in the age group of 5 to 29. Two third of traffic accident deaths occur amongst adults in the age group of 18-59 years. With men being three times prone to death by road accident than women. Over 90% of road accidents occur in LMIC, with the highest mortality rates in Africa and the lowest in Europe. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs , Not using helmets while riding , Not using seatbelts while driving, use of mobile phones while driving are some of the common reasons for road deaths amongst youth in lower income countries

Driving simulators are helping countries like Bangladesh ,Philippines and  India spread road safety awareness on use of seat belts, dangers of distracted driving , and the importance of helmets while riding motorcycles  . This can reduce the risk of death among vehicle occupants by up to 50%,   and use of helmets by motorcyclists can reduce the risk of death in a traffic accident up to six times and the risk of brain injury by up to 74%.


If traffic laws on drink-driving, seat-belt wearing, speed limits, helmets and child restraints are not enforced, they cannot bring about the expected reduction in road traffic fatalities and injuries related to specific behaviours.

India represents only 1% of the world’s vehicles, however it contributes 11% of global traffic deaths, an approximate of 1.5 lakh lives are lost annually. Disregard for traffic rules and exceeding the speeding limit are the major contributors to road accidents in India . Despite strict laws, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs remains a serious concern.

Like India , Inadequate traffic monitoring and careless enforcement of road safety laws in developing countries like Vietnam , Bangladesh , Philippines hinder progress. The existence of traffic laws are not enough. Effective enforcement is crucial to ensure compliance. Navigating the complex road safety in India, addressing the challenges requires a comprehensive and a multi-dimensional approach involving improved infrastructure, behavioural change and a robust enforcement by the authority.



The under-reporting of fatal crashes on the roads are a major “issue”. Officials record an estimated 84% data to be missing on crash deaths, let alone serious injuries. Hence the capacity to manage road safety is hampered by poor crash data to guide the action. According to a research report in 2019 Under reporting of road accidents is the highest in Low income countries sometimes upto 84%


Study shows that the rural population of any LIC is at a greater risk of a crash death than the urban population of the same country. For example in HIC like Australia, 30% more of fatal head injuries prevailed  compared to their urban counterparts as per the study conducted by a JCU Medicine Honours student, Julia Chequer De Souza.


Africa has been a major destination for used vehicles. Approximately 40% of the 14 million used vehicles that EU, Japan and the US exported between 2015 and 2018 went to African countries. Such used vehicles are poorly maintained and could be a potential hazard on the road. Failing to maintain  vehicles is  leading to fatal accidents on roads . Some of the common problems with vehicles that can lead to collisions include Failed headlights and turn signals, Defective brakes, Damaged or inflated tyres, Worn out windshield wiper blades, Damaged power steering. However, with proper vehicle maintenance training and strict laws on used vehicles  can help countries in Africa reduce road accidents and fatalities .


Mountainous roads of Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam prove to be riskier than flat terrains. As the mountainous roads are unpredictable, having steep curves and drop-offs, it becomes difficult and expensive for LICs to build and maintain roadside barriers. With advanced driver training programs that give hands on experience of  driving in difficult terrains and weather conditions in a safe simulated environment can help countries like Indonesia , Vietnam and Philippines reduce their road fatalities drastically


Pedestrian safety is the endless concern, generally overshadowed by the ever growing urban population and the changing landscapes in LIC countries like India, Bangladesh and Indonesia, amongst others contributing to economic costs between 5% and 7% of the national GDP as per the data collected by Ministry of Road and Transport and Highway.

  • India: In 2022, India reported 461,312 road accidents, causing 168,491 deaths and injuring 443,366 individuals. Maximum cases were reported in Tamil Nadu. The most common causes of road rages are reported to be speeding, dangerous and careless driving.
  • Indonesia: Indonesia witnesses an estimated 30,000 fatalities each year. The year 2022 saw an approximate of 204.45 thousand cases, indicating a significant rise compared to the previous year.
  • Philippines: Data from Philippine Statistics Authority indicated that road traffic deaths increased by 39% from 7938 deaths in 2011 to 11,096 deaths in 2021.

Bangladesh: According to the data released by Bangladesh Jatri Kallayn Samiti, approximately 25,000 lives are lost in road accidents annually. 51% of these victims were earners, highlighting the economic implications of these incidents affecting 5.3% loss of Bangladesh’s GDP. Some measure are being taken to improve driver training standards in Bangladesh by organisations like BRAC

The Philippines Road Safety Action Plan 2023- 2028 launched by the Department of Transportation and WHO serves as the blueprint for the country’s road safety initiatives and seeks to reduce the number of road traffic deaths by 35% in 2028.


The absence or lack of insurance coverage of both drivers and vehicles in Low income countries  stand as a socio- economic challenge. Limited finances to lack of awareness to high-risk perceptions, these nations grapple with various factors hindering the accessibility of insurance . Lack of insurance policies in countries of Africa and parts of Asia contribute to an increase in road accidents. When drivers do not have insurance, they may be less cautious on the road, knowing they won’t be held financially responsible in case of an accident. Additionally, without insurance, there are more disputes and delays in compensating victims, which can lead to legal complexities and potential conflicts that could indirectly contribute to road accidents.


Governments of developing countries can navigate road safety crises by implementing and enforcing strict traffic laws, improving infrastructure, increasing public awareness campaigns, providing quality emergency medical services, enhancing vehicle safety standards, and collaborating with simulation experts for setting up simulation labs for Driver training and road safety awareness .

​​Developing countries such as India, Nigeria, Brazil, and Indonesia could benefit from improving road safety training. Driving simulators can be valuable tools in this regard as they provide a controlled environment for drivers to practice various scenarios without real-world risks. Simulators can help new drivers gain experience, improve their skills, and learn how to react to different road conditions, ultimately leading to safer driving practices. Additionally, driving simulators can be used to train drivers on defensive driving techniques, hazard perception, and emergency response, all of which can contribute to reducing accidents in these developing countries.

For more information on how simulators can help improve road safety in your country contact our road safety experts on

close slider

    Sales Details

    +91 22 61513002

    Enquire Now