The official government statistics on the hoary road accident scenario in India are out.
Yesterday, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, launched the ‘Road Accidents in India 2015’ report in New Delhi. The detailed analysis, as expected, paints a grim picture of road safety in the country. While road accidents have emerged as a major public health problem globally, India has been witness to a rising number of accidents, fatalities and injured. In 2015, there were over 500,000 accidents, killing 146,000 people and leaving thrice the number injured.
With one of the highest motorisation growth rates in the world, accompanied by rapid expansion in road network and urbanisation over the years, India is faced with the challenge of reducing accidents and in turn fatalities.
According to the report compiled by the Transport Research Wing, the total number of road accidents in the country increased by 2.5% from 489,400 in 2014 to 501,423 in 2015. The total number of persons killed in road accidents increased by 4.6% from 139,671 in 2014 to 146,133 in 2015. Road accident injuries have also increased by 1.4% from 493,474 in 2014 to 500,279 in 2015. The severity of road accidents, measured in terms of number of persons killed per 100 accidentshas increased from 28.5 in 2014 to 29.1 in 2015.
Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari reiterated India’s resolve and commitment as a signatory to the Brasilia Declaration, to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50% by 2020. He dwelt at length on the various measures being taken in this direction, including steps like rectifying ‘black spots’, incorporating engineering solutions at the design stage, safety standards for automobiles, proper trauma care and generating public awareness.
Two-wheelers and CVs see highest road fatalities
The analysis of road accident data in 2015 reveals that motorised vehicles accounted for 95.5% of the total road accidents. Amongst the vehicle categories, two-wheelers accounted for the highest share in total road accidents (28.8%) in 2015 followed by cars, jeeps and taxis (23.6%); trucks, tempos, tractors and other articulated vehicles (19.7%), other motor vehicles (9%), buses (8.3%) and autorickshaws (6.1%).
Further, the share of the two-wheelers in total road accidents has increased continuously from 26.3% in 2013 to 27.3% in 2014 and 28.8% in 2015. Next to two-wheelers, the share of passenger vehicles has also gone up slightly from 22.2% in 2013 to 22.7% in 2014 and 23.6% in 2015.
As for the road fatalities, two-wheelers (31.5%) are the most vulnerable and unprotected road users in the country in 2015. Other road users killed in road accidents are those in cars, taxis, vans and other light and medium motor vehicles (17.2%), other motor vehicles (12.7%), trucks (11.4%), pedestrians (9.5%), buses (7.4%), autorickshaws (5.0%) and others (3.2%).
The commercial vehicles category accounted for the highest proportion of persons killed (25.6%) out of the total number of persons killed in the country during the calendar year 2015.
Meanwhile, the share of accidents, persons killed and injured in total accidents in the country caused by non-motorised vehicles such as cycles, cycle rickshaws, hand-drawn and animal-drawn vehicles are 1.10%, 1.57% and 0.88% respectively.
Driver at fault in most accidents
As per the report, driver’s fault has been revealed as the single most responsible factor for road accidents, accounting for 77.1% of total road accidents during 2015 as against 78.8% during 2014. Within the category of driver’s fault, road accidents caused and persons killed due to exceeding lawful speed/overspeeding by drivers accounted for a share of 62.2% (240,463 out of 386,481 accidents) and 61.0% (64,633 out of 106,021 deaths) respectively.
States with the worst record
Thirteen top states namely Tamil Nadu (69,059), Maharashtra (63,805), Madhya Pradesh (54,947), Karnataka (44,011), Kerala (39,014), Uttar Pradesh (32,385), Andhra Pradesh (24,258), Rajasthan (24,072), Gujarat (23,183), Telangana (21,252), Chattisgarh (14,446),West Bengal (13,208) and Haryana (11,174) together accounted for 86.7% of all road accidents in the country. Around 83.6% of all road accidents fatalities also occurred in the top 13 states.
Click here to view the full state-wise data of road accidents
Also read: Speed governors on CVs can reduce road fatalities by 20-25% in India