ROAD SAFETY IN INDIA
Road transport is the dominant mode of transport in India, both in terms of traffic share and in terms of contribution to the national economy. To meet the demand for road transport, the number of vehicles and the length of road network have increased over the years. A negative externality associated with expansion in road network, motorization and urbanization in the country is the increase in road accidents and road crash fatalities. Today, road traffic injuries are one of the leading causes of death, disabilities and hospitalization in the country imposing huge soicio-economic costs.
Road network in India, of about 55 lakh km as of March 2015 is one of the largest in the world. The country’s road network consists of National Highways, State Highways, Districts roads, Rural and Village roads.
Sustained economic growth have led to rapidly increasing motorized vehicles in India. There were 210 million registered vehicles in India as on 31st march 2015.
Composition of vehicular population during 2015 shows the highest share of two wheelers (73.5 %) followed by cars, jeeps and taxis (13.6 %), other vehicles (7.5 %), goods vehicle ( 4.4%) and buses( 1.0 %) .
While the number of vehicles has increased at a CAGR of 9.8 per cent, the total length of roads increased at a CAGR of 3.7 per cent over the period 2005 to 2015, implying a worsening vehicular congestion on the roads. Traffic density expressed in terms of member of vehicles per km of road has increased from 24 in 2005 to 38 in 2015.
During 2016, a total of 4,80,652 road accidents were reported by all the States /Union Territories. Of these 1,36,071 (28.3 per cent) were fatal accidents. The number of persons killed in road accidents were 1,50,785 i.e an average of one fatality per 3.2 accidents. The total number of persons injured in road accidents were 4,94,624.
The analysis of road accident data 2016 reveals that on an average 1317 accidents and 413 deaths take place every day on Indian roads which further translates into 55 accidents and loss of 17 lives every hour in our country.
Multi - causal nature of Road Accident
Road accidents are multi-causal and an accident is the result of a combination of factors such as human error, road defects, engineering defects of the vehicle , non-availability of pedestrian facility, cyclist facility, circumstantial factors such as weather condition, visibility etc
- Most of the fatal accidents occur due to over speeding
- Overtaking as a fault of the driver
- Intake of alcohol & drugs
- Act of talking over mobile phones while driving
- Non -Use of Safety Devices & Road Accidents ( Helmet and Seat belts)
A comparison of States reveals that top 13 States accounted for 86.5 per cent of share in road accidents during the calendar year 2016 (Table - 7.1). Tamil Nadu stood on top in road accidents in the entire country with a percentage share of 14.9 per cent.
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