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Awareness about road safety and factors associated with self-reported road traffic injury while commuting to school in India

 Department of Community Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Arun K Yadav,
Department of Community Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune - 411 040, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_1013_21

Background: India is the home to almost 30% of total children aged 13 to 19 years. Road traffic injury dominates over all causes of unintentional injuries. Children's road safety is neglected issue in the planning and designing of roads in the urban towns of India where a third of a billion children travel to school every day. As India is motorizing rapidly, road traffic injuries are projected to increase in near future. In the present study, awareness regarding road safety issues and prevalence of self-reported road traffic injury incurred while commute to school was estimated in the school going children aged 14 to 18 years. Methods: A Cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey was conducted among three schools in Pune, Maharashtra India. The information was collected about mode of commute to/from school including distance from home and understanding about road safety issues. The data was also collected about any road traffic injury incurred during commute to school in the past 12 months. Results: Total 398 children participated in the study of which 212 (53.3%) respondents were male. The mean age of the respondents was 15.5years (SD 1.1 years). The overall prevalence of self-reported road injury during journey to school in the last 12 months was 17.3% (95% CI, 13.75-21.42). A higher proportion of boys (18.9%) reported road injury than girls(15.6%).Children who walk (OR =2.79;95%CI1.04-7.52) or travelled by autorickshaw (OR=2.37;95%CI 0.78 - 7.24) to school were more likely to report road injury than those who travelled by school bus/school van. Conclusions: A sixth of the children reported a road traffic injury in the past 12 months during school journeys in Pune district, Maharashtra. Road safety education may be made part of the syllabus of school going children. Children's road safety should be given utmost priority in any urban planning of roads, schools and streets in India.

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