Road Accidents in India Decline but Deaths on Rise

International News - September 2017

New Delhi: Road accidents in India declined 4.1% in 2016, but caused 3.2% more fatalities than they did in 2015, according to a report released by the ministry of road transport and highways on Wednesday.

A total of 480,652 road accidents took place in India in 2016, which resulted in the loss of 150,785 lives and left 494,625 injured, said the report. That means around 55 road accidents every hour killing 17 people.

In 2015, India reported 501,423 road accidents resulting in 146,133 deaths.

A combination of factors such as human error, road defects, manufacturing defects in vehicles and worsening traffic congestions is raising the level of human vulnerability to accidents, the report said.

In most cases, the driver was found to be at fault, either over-speeding or jumping a red light, driving on wrong side or under the influence of alcohol.

“The performance might not be commendable but the efforts have started yielding results as the numbers are coming down,” minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said. “However, increase in deaths is a cause of concern and I would request people to drive safe and follow driving and safety rules.”

The national highways, which constitute just 2% of total road network in the country, account for 30% of the accidents and if they are coupled with state highways, the proportion rises to 65%. This shows that people in India, when they get to drive on a wide, open road, don’t bother to adhere to speed limits and drive carelessly, road transport and highways secretary Yudhvir Singh Malik said.

Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh continue to top the list as the most accident-prone states.

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