On October 22, 2020, a round table was held at the M.V. Ptukha Institute of demography and social research of the National academy of sciences of Ukraine on the topic: "The epidemic of injuries and deaths on the roads: an assessment of the economic, medical and demographic losses of Ukraine".
The event was coordinated and co-organized by the Institute for Road Traffic Safety and the Association for the Protection of Patients' Rights. The event was also held with the participation of the Ukrainian Scientific and Practical Center for Emergency Medical Aid and Medicine, the Civil Society Development Academy, the National Security and Defense Council, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.
In Ukraine there is a high level of socio-economic and demographic losses from road traffic accidents, annually in Ukraine there are 150,000 road accidents, tens of thousands of people are injured, and an average of 6,000 people die. The meeting participants focused on discussing the problems and determining approaches to calculating socio-economic damage as a result of road accidents, ensuring the preservation of life, reducing disability and road safety in 2021-2023.
“On the example of the amount of compensation for an accident, we see a real attitude towards a person and the paradox of a situation when a victim is forced to pay for his treatment on his own, and then prove to the insurance company the validity of compensation. In this case, the sequence should be different, the insurance company is obliged to pay for all applications in real time, without creating a situation where people are left alone with their problems", – said Vladimir Kosterin, head of the International Risk reduction foundation.
During the discussion, the experts of the round table discussed the problems of demographic, socio-economic, moral and psychological losses as a result of road accidents; medical and financial problems of treatment and rehabilitation of victims of road accidents; key actions to reduce road deaths and injuries: the need to improve road safety and effectively save the lives of victims of road accidents. They also touched upon the urgent issue of the need for significant public investment.
“According to the Minister of Infrastructure, Ukraine loses about UAH 70 billion annually from road accidents. The state spends about UAH 3 billion annually on preventive measures, – emphasized the Head of the Supervisory board of the Institute for road traffic safety, Mikhail Berlin – Losses of people on the roads are a complex issue that covers the social, economic bloc and medicine. One of the directions for solving the problems associated with road accidents is the development and implementation of methods for determining economic losses, the main place in their system should be played by a scientifically grounded system for determining the average cost of living. For example, in the United States, human life is estimated at 2.5 million dollars, in the EU countries, about 1.5 million euros".
According to Vladimir Kosterin, now in infrastructure programs, the factors of risk reduction on the roads are insufficiently worked out, in particular, there is no proper attention to the places of concentration of road accidents. For example, in installing cameras, it is important not to collect fines, but to reduce mortality. Therefore, the main effect of digitalization on the roads should not be to receive money for the budget, but to reduce accidents and human losses.
The main purpose of any state is to protect people's lives; in countries where human life is assessed adequately, the state directs all its efforts to protect citizens and reduce the burden on people's health from various factors. “I believe that politicians and future presidential candidates should compete with each other with commitments to reduce mortality by more than 1% per year, which means an increase in life expectancy by 5% in 5 years. And the second commitment is to increase the value of the appreciation of human life. These guidelines would stimulate systemic changes in society: from the introduction of effective legislative and administrative decisions to an increase in the culture of attitudes towards older people", – said Vladimir Kosterin.
Based on the results of the round table, the participants developed a resolution for the parliament and government of Ukraine, as well as the National security and defense council of Ukraine.