Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

India recorded a sharp increase in road accidents in 2022, and the number crossed the pre-covid level for the first time to 461,312, data released by the road transport ministry earlier this month showed. Accidents have become more lethal over the years: last year, more than one-third of all accidents killed at least one person. The country lost 168,491 persons to accidents in 2022, a quarter of them aged 25-35. Overspeeding remains the biggest cause of accidents, and two-wheelers the most common victims. Since this data only covers reported accidents, the actual numbers could be even higher. Mint explains the trends:

Killer roads?

The number of reported road accidents in India has dropped since peaking at half a million in 2015. In the five-year period of 2018–2022, a total of 2.17 million accidents were recorded, down 11% since the preceding five-year period. The exponential crowding of vehicles on Indian roads has helped the metric “accident deaths per 10,000 vehicles” see a rapid decline, but that’s an illusion. The reality is starker: an average accident is much deadlier now, with fatalities at an all-time high in 2022.



Speed kills

Though the 2019 amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act introduced stricter penalties on traffic offences, flouting rules remains one of the biggest reasons for road accidents. More than 70% of all accidents and casualties on Indian roads were a result of overspeeding. Nearly one-third of the road accident victims were not wearing helmets.



Riding risks

Nearly 45% of all victims in 2022 were involved in accidents in which a two-wheeler was on the receiving end. This was followed by accidents hitting pedestrians (20%). Two-wheelers hitting other two-wheelers killed 16.4% of all those who died in road accidents.


Regional gaps

Goa, Ladakh and Kerala reported the most road accidents adjusted for population in 2022. Among the states with more than 10 million residents, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal reported the lowest rate of accidents for their population. Across the world, India was at the 10th spot in a list where Venezuela (39.4 deaths per 100,000 population), Iran (17.4) and South Africa (16.8) fared the worst.


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