IZA Highlights Zinc’s Essential Role in Building Sustainable Road Networks

31st May 2023  Road safety continues to be a major developmental issue, a public health concern and a leading cause of death and injury across the world. At least one out of 10 people killed on roads across the world is from India, according to the world health Organization. International Zinc Association, a non-profit organization representing the global zinc industry by promoting zinc’s-essentiality in sectors like Infrastructure, healthcare, agriculture, and automobiles. They are working closely with government and industry leaders from across sectors on identifying Black Spots on National Highways and how to raise awareness about key measures that can effectively mitigate road accidents.

As per online data, During the year 2021, a total number of 4,12,432 road accidents have been reported in the country, claiming 1,53,972 lives, and causing injuries to 3,84,448 persons. Unfortunately, the worst affected age group in Road accidents is 18-45 years, which accounts for about 67 per cent of total accidental deaths. Amongst the States, Tamil Nadu with 55,682 accidents(13.5 %) recorded the highest number of road accidents in 2021 followed by Madhya Pradesh (48, 877 i.e. 11.8%).

Road Accidents can be addressed with multiple approaches that include factors such as driver education, infrastructure improvements, traffic regulations, and enforcement, among others. Zinc as an individual might not directly reduce road accidents, however, it is worth noting that zinc plays a role in various aspects of vehicle safety and infrastructure maintenance, which indirectly contributes to reducing road accidents. Zinc effectively protects steel and iron structures from corrosion. Galvanizing road equipment and infrastructure with a zinc coating prevents rust and deterioration, extending their lifespan.

Rahul Sharma, Director India, International Zinc Association highlight, how by adopting a sustainable approach in construction and maintenance, we can create roadways that prioritize safety while minimizing environmental impact. Zinc in multiple ways can help ensure longevity and better-quality infrastructure.

For example, Zinc Oxide used in the manufacturing of tires, provides crucial properties such as heat resistance, durability, and improved traction. Zinc is also used in the production of brake pads and brake linings. It helps enhance the friction and heat resistance of these components, improving their performance and reducing stopping distances. Zinc-based paints and coatings are also commonly used for road markings and reflectors. These helps provide clear guidance to drivers. Zinc-based corrosion inhibitors are used in automotive paints and coatings to protect vehicle bodies from rust and corrosion.

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