Road Accidents In India: The World Bank estimates that each year, traffic accidents cost the Indian economy 3 to 5 percent of its GDP. Everyone involved in a road traffic accident, whether they are dead, injured, or incapacitated, has a network of loved ones who are profoundly impacted. While it would be difficult to put a price on every instance of personal loss and suffering, it is conceivable to come up with a number that accurately represents the global social cost of traffic accidents. The loss of breadwinners and the additional responsibility of caring for family members who are incapacitated as a result of traffic accidents push many families into extreme poverty.
India has the most fatal traffic accidents
According to the World Road Statistics, of the 199 countries, India has the most road crash fatalities, followed by China and the United States (US). According to the 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety from the World Health Organization (WHO), India is responsible for over 11% of all fatalities worldwide resulting from traffic accidents.
In India, there were 3,66,138 traffic accidents in 2020 that resulted in 1,31,714 fatalities and 3,48,279 injuries. Even supposing there were 18.5 percent fewer road crashes in India in 2020 compared to 2019, this would still result in an average of 1,003 crashes and 361 fatalities every day, or approximately 42 crashes and 15 deaths per hour.
92% of fatality victims were men
Males are more likely than girls to be involved in automobile accidents starting at a young age. Young males under the age of 25 account for over three times as many road traffic fatalities as young girls, accounting for about three quarters (73%) of all traffic fatalities. In addition, men made up 92% of the fatality victims in traffic accidents, while women made up only 8%.
Status as a national capital
In comparison to 2020, there was a 3.6 percent rise in fatal collisions in Delhi. In Delhi, 4,720 traffic accidents resulted in 1,239 fatalities and 4,273 injuries in 2017. The overall number of crashes increased by 13%. The death rate per lakh people is still the same, though.
The most helpless victims are pedestrians
Pedestrians were the most at risk victims in 2021, according to the Delhi Road Crash Report published by the Delhi Police. In road accidents last year, pedestrians made up 40.7% of all fatalities, followed by two-wheeler riders, who were the second most vulnerable group of victims and made up 38.1% of all fatalities.
Over speeding and violating traffic laws are the main causes
Following thorough investigation, a number of causes have been identified as being to blame for the country’s crashes. This includes breaking traffic laws, driving too fast, making sharp curves, driving on an open road without a guardrail, driving in bad lighting conditions, driving while intoxicated, having a car breakdown, and having a tyre blow out. According to the collision data, over 73% of Delhi’s road crash fatalities last year were caused by violating traffic laws, while approximately 56% were brought on by speeding. This was followed by abrupt turns, which only accounted for 1.3% of fatal car accidents.
Poorly maintained roads
Ad-hoc or transient conditions on a road that prevent smooth, safe traffic flow and could result in an accident are referred to as poor road conditions. These elements include dim lighting, bad weather, unattended construction, slick roads, light reflection from the front, and encroachment on the route. These issues can be further divided into the following categories: steep curves, no central verge, holes or pits on the road, poor road design, and small roads.
Road accidents in more than a million cities
In 2020, 13,542 fatalities (or 10% of all fatalities in the nation) and 58,736 collisions (16%) occurred in three cities with populations of 50 million or more. Delhi had the most fatalities from traffic accidents among them (1,196), followed by Chennai (872), and Bengaluru (646). However, in terms of the number of people died in traffic accidents in the year 2020, Uttar Pradesh came in first place among all the states, followed by Maharashtra.
Vehicles grew by 10 times as the population did
From 62.20 lakhs in 1981 to 93.7 lakhs in 1991, 137.8 lakhs in 2001, and 203.4 lakhs (approximately) in 2021, the human population has expanded. This demonstrates a population growth of more than a factor of two during the previous three decades. However, between 1981 and 2021, the number of motor vehicles on Delhi’s roadways climbed by about 21 times, while the distance travelled on them increased only by two times, from 15,487 km to 33,198 km. In Delhi in 2021, there were approximately 122.53 lakh registered automobiles across all types.
The most fatal crashes involved vehicles from Delhi
According to the data, in 2021, automobiles registered in Delhi caused the highest percentage of fatal crashes in the nation—66.3%—followed by those registered in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh—5.9%. The situation here resembles what will happen in 2020. About 22.5 percent of all fatal accidents in the nation included just vehicles with registrations in Delhi and Haryana.
The most dangerous hour is from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Given that fewer vehicles are on the roads at night, crash classification data for 2021 revealed that 645 fatal crashes happened at night compared to 561 fatal crashes during the day. Additionally, it has been shown that on all days of the week, there are more fatal collisions between the hours of 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. Additionally, because the “No Entry” restriction has been lifted, commercial vehicles are now permitted to travel on the roadways.
Seat belt use reduces fatal collisions by 45–50%.
The likelihood of a road traffic accident increases dramatically after a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds 0.04, according to the traffic police, even at low levels of intoxication. Correct helmet use can reduce the risk of fatal injuries by 42% and the risk of head injuries by 69%. The danger of injury in the event of a car accident may be reduced by donning a helmet bearing the BIS mark. Wearing a seatbelt, however, lowers the risk of death and major injuries by 25% for passengers in the backseat and by 45–50% for drivers and front seat occupants.
Terminology changed to Crash.
According to the WHO, traffic fatalities are a health epidemic that may be stopped. The definition of an accident according to the dictionary is “an incident that occurs by chance or that has no obvious or deliberate cause.” Sadly, this goes against everything we know about traffic accidents. The causes of road crashes can be determined and prevented, making them a preventable cause of harm and death. By referring to them as accidents, we weaken public support for legislative responses to traffic accidents, such as the establishment of drink-driving checkpoints, speed cameras, slower speed limits, helmet-clasping legislation, and more. To cease using the word “accident” and start using the word “crash,” Transportation Alternatives created the “Crash Not Accident” campaign.