A feasibility report on accidents and road safety commissioned by the National Highways Authority of India has identified driving on wrong side, over loading, uncontrolled access to highway, and pedestrian interference as the main causes for accidents on highways.
The report, submitted in the year 2007, besides proposing widening of the existing four-lane road between Chilakaluripet and Vijayawada into a six-lane one also recommended provision of service roads for local traffic, access roads, grade separation, and pedestrian underpasses.
It also proposed setting up of a highway traffic management system, installation of variable message signals, and creation of traffic enforcement.
BCEOM India Private Limited, later renamed as Egis India Consulting Engineers Private Limited, conducted a safety issue analysis for the ongoing project of widening the four-lane stretch of 82.5-km between Chilakaluripet and Vijayawada into a six-lane road.
The analysis, based on data of fatal accidents, pointed out that driving on the wrong side was a common problem on the highways and had become the biggest cause for head-on collisions at intersections.
Overloading of vehicles was another problem that should be addressed, the report said.
Overloading of vehicles, commonly slow-moving agricultural vehicles, resulted in poor visibility, reduce the lane width, and affect the road condition too, the report said.
Uncontrolled access points and intersections dotting the highways also emerged as one of the main causes leading to accidents. A number of settlements resulted in pedestrian interference on the highways. Poor signalling at the access points and absence of a traffic controller was another cause for accidents.
The accident data collected during the years 2003-2006 indicated that the number of fatal accidents dropped from 30 per cent of total accidents to 5 per cent.
The share of major accidents steadily increased from 45 per cent in 2005 to 65 per cent in 2006. More than 90 per cent of accidents were taking place at intersections and villages.
Thirty per cent of head-on collisions were taking place at intersections.
Incidents of rear-end collisions involving parked vehicles were also frequent at intersections, the report said.