The statistics of road accidents in India are alarming. Development and progress on one side translates into a growing motor traffic on the other, and then Indian roads are far from ideal and can hardly ensure a smooth and continuous flow of traffic. No wonder stress on roads coupled with an irate driver inadvertently leads to conflict, road rage and accidents.
With the growing population in cities of India , the load on the roads have increased. The smallest error in judgement can injure pedestrians. Then again, vehicle fault and malfunction also amount to a large number of accidents. Over exhausted bald or slick tyres are very dangerous at high speeds as they are prone to skidding- reducing the efficiency of the brakes.
According to the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways under the Government of India’s report 1,47,913 people were killed in road accidents during the year of 2016 and 150,785 people were killed in the subsequent year of 2017.
The table below, based on data from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways India, shows the state-wise data on the number of road accident mortalities:
|Jammu & Kashmir||958||926|
|Andaman & Nicobar Islands||17||21|
Road traffic not only disrupts the smooth ongoing daily life it also bounds the family and the nation as a whole to face considerable amount of economic loss. According to the World Health Organization the economic losses thus arise are from the cost of treatment and loss of productivity for those killed or disabled by a road accident mishap and form the families that take time off from work or study to care for the injured family member or friend. The road traffic crashes costs most of the countries in the world almost 3 percent loss in their Gross Domestic Product.
Road accidents in India depend on various factors like human error, road defects, engineering defects of the vehicle, non-availability of pedestrian facility, cyclist facility , weather conditions, visibility etc.
Given below is a table on the percentage of road accident deaths occurring due to some very generic factors on Indian roads in the year 2016, based on data from a report published by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Transport Research Wing in 2016:
|Fault of driver of motor vehicle||4,03,598||1,21,126||4,14,785|
|Fault of Driver of non-motorized vehicle||6,546||2,250||7,620|
|Fault of Pedestrian||8,298||3,091||7,465|
|Fault of Passenger||5,200||2,181||4,535|
|Mechanical Defect in motor vehicle||6,688||2,823||6,956|
|Engineering/ Designing fault of Roads||1,289||589||1,217|
|Defect in road condition (surface of roads/surface condition of roads)||7,158||2,983||6,579|
|Poor light condition||3,833||1,631||4,477|
|Causes not known||15,580||6,170||16,303|
This table helps us in understanding the nature and trends of road accidents in India. We can clearly see that while some factors resulting in Road accidents in India can’t be easily avoided some factors demand serious attention.
Some factors like the fault of driver should not be neglected and according to the kind of damage it does to the road safety it ought to be put to scrutiny and ways should be found to get rid of it completely.
The table below shows the sub division of fault of driver factor wise number of road accidents happening in the year 2016 according to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Transport Research Wing under Government of India;
|Responsibility of driver||Accidents||Killed||Injured|
|Exceeding lawful speed||2,68,341||73,896||2,82,870|
|Intake of Alcohol||14,894||6,131||11,648|
|Jumping Red Light||4,491||1,260||4,636|
|Driving on Wrong Side||17,654||5,705||17,908|
|Jumping/ Changing lanes||8,513||2,795||8,177|
|Using of Mobile phones during driving||4,976||2,138||29,171|
|Asleep or fatigued or sick||4,552||1,796||4,685|
|Other improper actions||50,530||17,943||50,944|
After the analysis above it is clear that the prime reason for road accidents in India occur due to over speeding. The factor of unlawful exceeding speed has claimed the 66.5 percent of the road accidents happening in India. Hence, almost 9,462 people die due to irresponsible behaviour of the drivers in India.
Road accidents in India – Prevention
Road traffic injuries can be mitigated. Addressing issues such as speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol, promoting the use of helmets, seatbelts and other restrains; ensuring that people walking, and cycling are more easily visible, improving the design of roads and vehicles, enforcing road safety regulations, and improving emergency response services has demonstrated that the needless deaths and disabilities caused by road traffic collisions can be prevented. In fact, road friendly policies and strict implementations of traffic rules and regulations could result in a decline in the incidence of road accidents. A substantial part of the reduction in fatalities is to be attributed to a set of measures aimed at improving the lot of pedestrians and cyclists through an improved road design and a better traffic management.
Road safety is a result of deliberate efforts on the part of many sectors of society – government and non-government alike. An accident proof transport system is attainable with a well- designed and vigorous safety education programme. A safety culture is to be inculcated among motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Needless to add, the traffic facilities have to be improved too. Only properly maintained or road worthy motor vehicles should be allowed to ply in the public places. There should be strict enforcements of traffic rules and motor laws. Lastly road safety campaign is an effective tool to carb accidents and it is the urgent need of the hour.