RSTV-IN DEPTH – ROAD ACCIDENTS IN INDIA
A report on road accidents published by the Union transport ministry has shown a steep rise in the number of pedestrians killed on the roads. The increase is as much as 84 percent between 2014 and 2018, with average daily fatalities going up from 34 in 2014 to 62 last year.
The report also says in all 22,656 pedestrians were killed last year. Several causes are attributed to road accidents including over speeding, drunken driving, red light jumping, avoiding driving safety measures like helmets and seat belts, using mobile phones, honking, lack of traffic sense. There are also issues pertaining to the lack of infrastructural facilities like driving such as poor pedestrian space, undivided roads, potholes, narrow roads, sharp road curvatures.
Highlights and summary:
- India, however ranks 1 in the number of road accident deaths across the 199 countries reported in the World Road Statistics, 2018 followed by China and US.
- As per the WHO Global Report on Road Safety 2018, India accounts for almost 11% of the accident related deaths in the World.
- A total of 4,67,044 road accidents have been reported by States and Union Territories (UTs) in the calendar year 2018, claiming 1,51,417 lives and causing injuries to 4,69,418 persons.
- In percentage terms, in 2018, the number of accidents has increased by 0.46 percent, persons killed has increased by 2.4% and injuries have decreased by 0.33 percent over that of the previous year i.e 2017. Road accident severity measured by the number of persons killed per 100 accidents, has seen an increase of 0.6 percentage points in 2018 over the previous year.
- Accidents, deaths and injuries in India registered a steep rise till 2010, the same somewhat stabilised after 2010, with marginal year to year fluctuations.
- Further, the CAGR of accidents as well as accident related deaths in the period 2010-2018 dropped drastically when compared with the previous decades, despite the very high rate of growth of automobiles.
- Road accidents have been profiled by road category, type of impacting vehicle, type of collision, age of victim, gender and road user category which inter-alia bring out the following:
- National Highways which comprise of 1.94 percent of total road network, accounted for 30.2 per cent of total road accidents and 35.7 per cent of deaths in 2018. State Highways which account for 2.97% of the road length accounted for 25.2 percent and 26.8 percent of accidents and deaths respectively. Other Roads which constitute about 95.1% of the total roads were responsible for the balance 45 % of accidents and 38% deaths respectively.
- In impacting vehicle categories, two-wheelers accounted for the highest share (35.2%) in total accidents and (31.4%) in accident related killings in 2018. Light vehicles comprising cars, jeeps and taxis as a category, ranks second with a share of 24.3 per cent in total accidents and 20.3 per cent in total fatalities.
- In terms of accident related killings by type of road user, the number of Pedestrians killed accounted for 15%, the share of cyclists was 2.4% and that of Two wheelers was 36.5%. Together these categories explain 53.9% of the accident related killings and are the most vulnerable category quite in line with global trends.
- During 2018, like the previous two years, young adults in the age group of 18 – 45 years accounted for nearly 69.6 percent of road accident victims. The working age group of 18 – 60 accounted for a share of 84.7 percent in the total road accident deaths.
- The number of hit and run cases in 2018 accounted for 18.9% of the deaths compared to 17.5% in 2017. Head on collision , followed by Hit and run cases followed by Hit from the back accounted for almost 56% of persons killed in 2018. The category which registered the maximum increase in terms of persons killed in 2018 was collision with parked vehicles.
- The share of males in number of total accident deaths was 86% while the share of females hovered around 14% in 2018
- Road accidents are multi-causal and are often the result of an interplay of various factors. Like (i) human error, (ii) road environment and (iii) vehicular condition.
- Under the category of Traffic Rule Violations, over speeding is a major killer, accounting for 64.4% of the persons killed followed by driving on the wrong side of the road which accounted for 5.8% of the accident related deaths.
- Use of mobile phones accounted for 2.4% of the deaths with drunken driving accounting for 2.8% of the persons killed.
- Driving without valid license/learners license accounts for 13% of accidents.
- About 29% of deaths can be attributed to non use of helmets and 16% of deaths can be attributed to non use of seat belts.
- Vehicles more than 10 years accounted for 41% of accident related deaths.
- Overloaded vehicles accounted for about 12% deaths.
- As in 2017, the State of Tamil Nadu recorded the highest number of road accidents in 2018. Similarly as in 2017, the number of persons killed in road accident was the highest in Uttar Pradesh in 2018 .
- The 50 Indian Urban agglomerations (i.e million plus cities) accounted for 18.3 percent of road accidents and 11.7 percent of road accident deaths in the country.
- The average of accident severity in these million plus cities was 20.8 which is better than the all India.
- Initiatives taken by the Ministry which continues to implement a multi pronged road safety strategy based on Education, Engineering (both of roads and vehicles), Enforcement and Emergency Care consisting inter-alia of setting up Driver training schools, creating awareness, strengthening automobile safety standards, improving road infrastructure, carrying out road safety audit
- High priority has been accorded to rectification of black spots.
- A major initiative of the Ministry this year in the field of Road Safety has been the passing of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2019 by both the Houses of Parliament in August 2019. The aforementioned bill has now become an Act. The provisions of Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019 which focus on road safety include, inter-alia, stiff hike in penalties for traffic violations and electronic monitoring of the same, enhanced penalties for juvenile driving, cashless treatment during the golden hour, computerisation/automation of vehicle fitness and driving tests, recall of defective vehicles, extending the scope of third party liability and payment of increased compensation for hit and run cases etc.
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