Road accidents caused a loss of Tk180.46 billion or over 1.5 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022, according to the Road Safety Foundation (RSF).
The RSF, in its report findings, also revealed that fatalities in the road accidents caused an estimated loss of Tk96.31 billion (Tk9,631 crore) in the outgoing year.
Apart from this, both the numbers of deaths and road accidents in Bangladesh saw a sharp rise in 2022 compared to those in the preceding year (2021).
Chairman of the RSF Dr AI Mahbub Uddin Ahmed, also professor of the Sociology Departnent of Dhaka University, read out the report findings at a press briefing at Safar-Runi Auditorium of Dhaka Reporters Unity at Segunbagicha in the city.
Dr AI Mahbub said they prepared the report on road accidents based on news reports published by nine national newspapers, seven online news portals and electronic media.
He said faulty vehicles, reckless driving, inefficiency, mental and physical illness of the drivers, unspecified hours of their duties, insufficient salaries and running slow-driven vehicles on the highways and rash driving by young bikers, improper traffic management system and lack of awareness about traffic laws were mainly responsible for road accidents.
The RSF said some 7,713 people were killed and 12,615 injured in 6,829 road accidents from January to December 2022 across the country while at least 6,284 people were killed and 7,468 others injured in 5,371 road accidents in 2021.
The report says the total losses would be far more if the extent of damage to property is counted. Information remained underreported in many cases, it maintains.
The RSF believes the actual figure of road crashes will be three to four times higher than the data reported in the media.
Taking this into account, the RSF observed that the loss might be over 1.5 per cent of the country's GDP.
The Foundation made the report on the financial losses using the method of International Road Assessment Programme (IRAP).
The RSF said 6,276, or 81.36 per cent, of the deceased were in the 18-65 age bracket. At least 12,229 vehicles were involved in road accidents in 2022, according to the report.
Among the deceased, 1,061 women and 1,143 children faced the tragic end of their lives in 2022 while 927 women and 734 children faced the same fate in 2021.
A total of 3,091 people died in 2,973 motorcycle accidents, which is 40.07 per cent of the total deaths.
Motorcycle accident rate stood at 43.53 per cent. Some 1,627 pedestrians were killed in the accidents, which is 21.09 per cent of the total fatalities.