The hoary road accident statistics for 2016 are out and, as usual, are a huge cause of concern. In 2016, India witnessed reports of 480,652 road accidents that injured 494,624 individuals and claimed 150,785 lives in the country.
This translates to an average of 1,317 accidents and 413 accident deaths taking place on Indian roads each day – or 55 accidents and 17 deaths every hour, according to data released by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), Transport research wing.
The number of reported fatalities in the country have reduced marginally for the number of road accidents (-4.1%) and injured victims (-1.1%), while, on the other hand the number of deaths in road crash have increased (+3.2%) compared to previous year (2015).
According to the statistics, the number of fatal accidents (accident in which at least one person dies) has been increasing consistently since 2005, and saw a sharp rise in 2016. In 2015, around 131,726 fatal accidents were reported and in 2016 it increased to 136,071, consequently accident severity in terms of people killed per 100 accidents stood at 31.4 (29.1 in 2015).
National Highways account for maximum accidents and deaths
The majority of the victims involved in accidents were between the age group of 18-45, accounting for 68.6 percent (103,409) out of the total victims. The National Highways that constitute about 2 percent of the total road network of India accounted for 29.6 percent of total road accidents and 34.5 percent of total number of persons killed. The State Highways accounted for 25.3 percent of total accidents and 27.9 percent of the total number of persons killed in road accident in the year.
Out of all the vehicles involved in accidents, two-wheelers accounted for nearly 33.8 percent, followed by cars, jeeps and taxis (23.6%), trucks, tempos, tractors and other articulated vehicles (21%), buses (7.8 percent), auto rickshaws (6.5 percent) and other motor vehicles (2.8%). In 2015, the share of two-wheelers in the fatality was 28.8 percent. The data points that two-wheelers vulnerability accounted for 34.8 percent of total persons killed in 2016.
The data highlights fault of drivers remains the single-most important factor responsible for road accidents in the company accounting almost 84 percent, killing 80.3 percent and injuring almost 83.9 percent on all roads in the country. Out of all the factors in driver’s fault, exceeding speed limit accounted for a lion share of 66.5 percent in accidents and 61 percent of accidental deaths.
Tamil Nadu sees highest number of accidents, UP in road accident fatalities
The state of Tamil Nadu saw the highest number of road accidents (14.9%), followed by Madhya Pradesh (11.2%) and Karnataka (9.2%). In case of death due to road accidents, Uttar Pradesh topped the list (12.8%), followed by Maharashtra (8.6%). In case of cities, Chennai (7,486) saw the highest number of road accidents, while Delhi had the highest number of deaths (1,591).
As of March 31, 2015, India had a total of 210 million registered vehicles.
Commenting on the data, Piyush Tewari, CEO. SaveLIFE Foundation said,"The latest figures reveal how road crashes continue to remain a pandemic for our country, killing over 400 people each day. Since 2007, road crash deaths have increased by an astounding 31 percent. The need of the hour is a strong legal framework combined with a campaign at the level of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. We need the Rajya Sabha to pass the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2017 urgently and for the PM to launch a Bharatiya Sadak Suraksha Abhiyan on a war-footing”.