Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has released the ‘Road Accidents in India, 2018’. It is an annual publication brought out by the Transport Research Wing of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways which reports on accidents, related deaths and injuries, calendar year-wise, based on information supplied by the Police Departments of States and UTs.
The major findings of the Report are as follows:
- As per the Report, Road accidents in the country have increased marginally by 0.46 % during 2018 with the year seeing 4,67,044 road accidents as against 4,64,910 in 2017. The fatalities during the same period have also risen by about 2.37% and 151471 persons were killed in 2018 as against 1,47,913 in 2017. Road accident injuries have however showed a decrease of 0.33% in 2018 as compared to 2017.
- The report also brings out that while accidents, deaths and injuries registered a steep rise till 2010, they somewhat stabilised after that, with only marginal year to year fluctuations. Further, the Compound annual growth rate of accidents as well as accident related deaths in the period 2010-2018 dropped drastically and was the least when compared with the previous decades, despite the very high rate of growth of automobiles.
- 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 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.
(vii) The share of males in number of total accident deaths was 86% while the share of
females hovered around 14% in 2018.
(viii) 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. The information received from the States/UTs on the causes of road accidents brings out inter-alia the following:
- 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.
Road traffic accidents are amenable to remedial actions and the Ministry has been implementing 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 etc. High priority has been accorded to rectification of black spots. These efforts of the Ministry are manifest in the decline in the CAGR of accidents and accident related deaths during the period 2010-18.
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 which focuses on road safety measures which 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. This act, it is hoped, will bring in greater discipline and responsible attitude amongst road users and will mark a turning point in road accidents and related deaths to which the country remains seriously committed.