Trends Of Road Accidents in India: Occurrence, Variations and Prevention

A road accident occurs when there’s a car crash or a car accident resulting in the vehicles blocking the traffic on a public road. Road collisions can cause serious injury to one or more people, and a fatal accident can lead to death. 

A grievous injury accident occurs when individuals have serious injuries that require urgent hospitalisation. A minor or no injury accident causes damage to the vehicle but may result in no hospitalisation. 

Road transport is one of the riskiest conditions to cope with daily, but such incidents receive less public attention than others. (1) Road traffic is considered a significant development issue, a public health hazard, and a primary source of death and injury. It kills millions of people each year, and they mostly happen in developing countries.

In India, the trend of RTA injuries and deaths is increasingly alarming.

Causes of Road Accidents:

  1. Over Speeding: It increases the severity of accidents and has proven deadly in the majority cases. So, even if you are running late, it is best to drive within the legal limits.
  2. Drink and Drive: Consumption of drugs or alcohol before or during driving any automobile is a serious crime that can lead to road crashes and the death of individuals.
  3. Road Conditions: Poor condition of roads can become the risk of accidents. Potholes are a big reason for road accidents at night and while speeding.
  4. Weather Conditions: Wet roads in the rainy season and low visibility during the winters due to fog are also causes that result in accidents and loss of life. 

Impact of Road Accidents on Indian Economy:

Due to road accidents, both the victim and the country will face an economic issue. The person will not be able to continue to his job to earn money, and due to the non-participation of such victims in the country’s GDP, there is a negative impact on a country’s economic status.

By 2019, India faced maximum monetary damage caused by commercial vehicles of $356.2 million, of which cars caused damage of $69.8 million, twowheelers with only $18.7 million and buses with $39.6 million.

India has only 1% of total vehicles, but it causes about 11% of the total deaths due to road accidents in the entire world. According to the survey and data analytics done by Road Accident Sampling System- India (RASSI) in 2019, over 781,668 vehicles were involved in road accidents. And due to these calamities, the damage ranges up to $0.57 to $1.81 billion. 

According to the study findings, the total health expenses of such victims or patients go approximately to $0.82-1.92 billion.

TRENDS OF ROAD ACCIDENTS IN INDIA ON THE BASIS OF ROADS:

According to 2019 studies, roads other than National or State highways report the highest no. of accidents (202835), deaths (58769) and injuries (201981). 

Why do other roads have such high numbers of accidents and deaths? The poor conditions of these roads, the potholes and the stone marbles spread over are enough to lose control over the vehicle while driving. These roads are short in width, making it difficult for cars to pass through.

AGE GROUPS VARIATION IN NUMBER OF ROAD ACCIDENTS:

According to the 2016 survey, the highest number of death cases recorded are for the 18-35 age group. People in the age group of 60 years and above report the least number of death cases in road accidents, and the age for the minimum number of cases remains unknown. 

Why only the age group 18-35 have the highest number of road accidents?

  • This age group of youngsters seems to be not following the traffic rules, their curiosity of over speeding and overriding results in these kinds of mishappenings.  
  • Despite a lack of knowledge about different vehicles, youngsters drive any car over confidently on busy roads, which leads to severe accidents. 
  • People of this age group love thrills, and some of them end up over-speeding, which in the future results in accidents. 

Comparison on the basis of Deaths due to Road Accidents in India in the year of 2019 and 2020:

Here is the chart that shows a clear difference between the two years 2019 and 2020 in terms of the deaths reported due to road accidents in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, Telangana.  

  • In 2019, Maharashtra showed the highest number of deaths (26655), and the least was Telangana (1257). 
  • In 2020, Maharashtra again saw a rise with a total of 1032 deaths, and the lowest was Gujarat, with only 535 deaths in the whole year. 

The deaths reported decreased at least 60% in these states, but the decrease was only possible due to the pandemic and the lockdown imposed in 2020. These regulations resulted in a lesser number of vehicles on the road, and all this directly lowers the cases of road accidents in 2020.  

State wise variation in the number of road accidents in India during 2019:

According to a 2019 survey, in terms of the total number of people involved in road accidents in various states of India, Tamil Nadu had the maximum number of road accidents (57,228), and Chandigarh had the lowest number of road accidents (305).

Causes of the high number of road accidents in these states:

  • Lack of awareness among the citizens
  •  Low level of the traffic rules imposed within the state
  •  The governing system is lacking somewhere in its job
  • The road network and the infrastructure 

No. of Accidents/ People Dead/ Injured in North-East States (2019):

The above graph shows that Tripura has the highest number of road accidents resulting in death and injured individuals compared to the neighbouring states.

From the above two graphs, we can observe the difference in the total accident cases and people dead, which is quite huge. It is not only due to lack of awareness or the poor administration system but also depends on the total population of the state or any particular area. 

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES FOR ROAD ACCIDENTS:

  • Implementation of strict laws 
  • Installation of speed controllers in vehicles 
  • Speed monitoring cameras on roads
  • Just Punishment and fair Charges
  • Setting up quality road network and infrastructure 

References:

  1. Peden, Margie, Scurfield, Richard, Sleet, David, et.al. (2004), World Report on road traffic injury prevention, World Health Organisation. 
  2. “India’s Socio- economic cost of Road accidents in 2019 was $15.71 billion to $38.81 billion: Bosch “, The Hindu, October, 2021.
  3. Sun S., (November, 2021), “Number of deaths due to road accidents in India 2005-20119”, Statista.co.
  4. Shangliao Sun (Nov, 2021), “Number of road accidents in India 2019, by type of road, Statista.com
  5. Kapoor P., (October,2018), “India way Behind 2020 target, road accidents still kill over a lakh tear”, The Times of India
  6. [Daniels P., (June 2020), ” Road accident deaths decline due to lockdown in India – Report., Rush Lane Daily Auto news].
  7. https://ncrb.gov.in/sites/default/files/Chapter-1A-Traffic-Accidents_2019.pdf
  8. https://morth.nic.in/sites/default/files/RA_Uploading.pdf

Ashi Ramavat, Jyoti Kashyap, Priya Antil; BSc – Rishihood University

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