Presenting the research on the road accidents, the experts provide sadly impressive losses that Ukraine suffers as a result of accidents and offer recommendations to decrease the death toll.
Kyiv, October 25, 2016. Road accidents take second place in the statistics of deaths from external factors in 2015. Almost 14 percent died in road traffic accidents (RTA). Young people – 20-45 years of age – most often die in RTAs, men – 4 times more, than women. About 17% of all accidents resulted in injuries or deaths and 12% of them had fatal consequences. This statistics was provided by experts at Ukraine Crisis Media Center when they presented the results of the first national research assessing the value of life and total losses of the state from RTA consequences, conducted by Umbrella Research. “At first glance, the figures are small, but they transform into very large losses from short-received profits, GDP losses for the country,” noted Olga Drobysheva, Head of the NGO Traffic Challenge. According to the research, Ukraine has lost an average of UAH 27 billion due to these accidents.
The aim of the research is to determine the extent of the problem and plan the government’s actions
“Our objective was to estimate socio-economic losses of the state from road accidents. Then, on this basis, we can estimate depth of the problem and how to allocate state investments in order to reduce these losses,” said Olga Drobysheva. She noted that this practice is widespread in Europe and many developed countries. In Ukraine it is the first research of a kind.
To collect information, experts organized 12 interviews with lawyers, doctors, insurers, economists and other experts specializing on the subject, said Lidia Antoniuk, Director of Umbrella Research. The collected data were analyzed by three different approaches because of lack of detailed official databases and the scale of shadow economy in Ukraine. The first approach involved calculation of direct and indirect losses due to premature death of a person in a road accident and disability, the second – losses of the state and households, the third – gross output, which summarizes losses of the state and households, taking into account the shadow economy.
Losses of road accidents in Ukraine are estimated at UAH 10.5 to 45 million
Calculations show that losses of road accidents in Ukraine range from UAH 10.5 million (the first approach) – 0.53% of GDP to 45.2 million (the third approach) – 1.45% of GDP, and the average of the three approaches – UAH 2.7 million. “These are the minimum calculations, in fact, the numbers are much larger,” noted Lidia Antoniuk. “Even if we speak about UAH 2 million, the real figure is about UAH 4 million. […] Other methods are the official data, but if you want to compare the situation in Ukraine with the situation in other countries, you have to look at the third figure obtained by the gross output method – it is the absolute minimum,” said Alan Ross, President of the International Road Safety Centre (IRSC).
The value of life varies from UAH 1.7 to 10.5 million. Lidia Antoniuk drew attention to the huge gap between the last two indices caused by the shadow sector. “This difference means how the state evaluates us and how much the state actually earns at the cost of a person,” noted Ms. Antoniuk.
To improve the situation of the road accidents cooperation of all involved agencies is required. A road accident is an economic problem rather than transport. This problem can neither be solved by the efforts of the Ministry of Infrastructure alone, nor by the police and the Ministry of Healthcare – all agencies should cooperate to tackle this issue,” emphasized Alan Ross. He added that such coordinated efforts in the EU countries made it possible to reduce the road toll by 50% over the past 10 years. “You have many good professionals. All you need is to fix the right structure and to establish proper coordination,” noted the expert.
The research should become the basis for legislative initiatives
“The research is only the first step. To achieve a result, these figures should be reflected in the law,” emphasized Volodymyr Karavayev, advocate, expert on legal aspects of road safety. In his opinion, one of the areas of work should be active attraction of insurance companies to investment in road safety, involving legal mechanisms. Natalia Bazylevska, CEO of GRAWE Ukraine, drew attention to the need of providing adequate insurance compensation for the loss of life. In Europe, these payments amount to 15 million euro.
Igor Didenko, MP, head of Parliamentary Subcommittee on Road Safety, noted that such a loss as 1.5% of GDP should also be taken into account when planning the annual budget, because it is a significant amount in the state budget. He noted that a working group on road safety is being established at the Cabinet of Ministers. “This research will provide figures to the government and based on these data the government will develop the forecasts and action plan,” he noted.
Vasyl Bryantsev, acting Head of Road Safety Department, informed that now the new data base of road accidents is being formed in consultation with experts of the European Investment Bank. “We will try to approximate it to the European models, to detail the accident records that will allow us to estimate losses due to the accidents,” he said. Vasyl Bryantsev added that a new draft resolution on accounting accidents has already been prepared. Now the Ministry of Healthcare is finalizing it. Besides, the Road Safety Departments plan to cooperate with the Motor Transport Insurance Bureau to eliminate discrepancies between databases.