From media reports, experiences and theory, it is known that Indian roads are deadly. A report released by the Union and road transport and highways ministry provides statistical data to further reinforce that this is indeed a fact. There were as many as 17 deaths and 55 road accidents every hour in the country 2016--one among the highest in the world.
Highlights of the report:
- Road accidents kill 150,785 people across the nation. Even though road accidents in India decreased by 4.1 per cent in 2016, fatalities have increased by 3.2 per cent.
- The National Highways accounted for 29.6 per cent of total road accidents and 34.5 per cent of the total number of people killed. Compared to 2015, road accidents have gone up on National highways from 28.4 per cent to 29.6 per cent in 2016. The State Highways accounted for 25.3 per cent of total accidents and 27.9 per cent of the total number of persons killed in road accident in 2016.
- 46.3 per cent of fatalities were in the age group 18-35 years, the working age. World Bank data suggests that India loses about 3 per cent of its GDP to road accidents every year.
- The maximum number of accidents--190,000 occurred on two-lane roads.
- India's capital, Delhi, happens to have the most unsafe roads--with the highest number of road accident deaths in 2016. Chennai had the highest number of road accidents at 7,486.
- Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of road accident deaths in 2016 at 19,320 followed by Tamil Nadu at 17,218 and Maharashtra at 12,935.
- Two-wheelers accounted for the highest share in the total number of road accidents at 33.8 per cent followed by cars, jeeps, and taxis at per cent.
- 13 States accounted for 86 per cent of the total road accidents in the country. These are Tamil Nadu, MP, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Haryana.
- Similarly, 13 States accounted for 84 per cent of the total persons killed in road accidents during 2016. These are UP, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, West Bengal, Punjab, Haryana, and Bihar.
Reasons for accidents:
- Road sector experts say one of the primary reasons behind such a high number of road accidents in India is the fact that the increase in road length has failed to keep pace with the number of registered motor vehicles. Vehicle registration has gone up by 10 per cent during the decade 2005-2015. However, the road length in the same period grew only by a meagre 3.75 per cent. Therefore, congestion on roads has led to the rise in the number of accident cases.
- Overspeeding accounted for the highest share of 66% accidents and 61% deaths and talking on mobile phone caused 4976 road accidents and 2,138 deaths.
- Two wheelers cause the maximum accidents. Out of 52,500 two wheeler rider deaths, 19.3% were not wearing helmets.
- Intake of alcohol and drugs by drivers resulted in 14,894 road accidents (3.7 per cent) and 6,131 fatalities (5.1 per cent)