The cost of road accidents is as much as Rs. 700 billion a year, according to the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA).
Money spent on treating the injured and importing material to repair the damaged vehicles is double the annual allocation for the health sector, said Dr. Thushara Metiwalage, convener of SLMA’s committee on road safety.
Also, the World Bank has estimated it to be between three and five per cent of the GDP, he said.
Police records show around 40,000 road accidents happen a year, but along with those go unreported and as per insurance company reports, it could be as high as 400,000.
The western province accounts for almost one-fourth of the incidents, with its DIG (traffic) Indika Hapugoda saying that around eight deaths occur per day from road accidents.
The Health Ministry spends around Rs. 135 billion to treat the wounded, he said.
Road accidents are blamed for one-fourth of the 12,000 fatalities reported from various accidents annually.
In 2022, a total of 19,740 road accidents occurred and 2,418 of them were fatal, claiming 2,538 lives.
This year, more than 17,000 incidents were reported from January to August, with 1,513 deaths happening.
Further, one-third of the fatalities are motorcyclists.