53 accidents, 19 deaths per hour in road crashes in 2022: Road Transport Ministry

The severity of road crashes, measured by the number of people killed per 100 accidents, has increased over the past decade from 28.2% in 2012 to 36.5% in 2022, spiking above 37% during the pandemic

November 02, 2023 03:32 am | Updated November 03, 2023 08:31 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The expansion of the country’s road network, including expressways, and an increase in vehicle ownership continue to spur a rise in fatalities due to road accidents, with the severity of crashes worsening significantly over the last decade, according to government data.

India witnessed 53 accidents and 19 deaths every hour, or an average of 1,264 accidents and 42 deaths daily due to road crashes last year, according to a Ministry of Road Transport and Highways report released on Wednesday. There were a total 4,61,312 road accidents across the country, which claimed as many as 1,68,491 lives. The number of road accidents in 2022 increased by 11.9% and deaths rose by 9.4%.

The severity of road crashes, measured by the number of people killed per 100 accidents, has increased over the past decade from 28.2% in 2012 to 36.5% in 2022, with a consistent increase every year. In 2020 and 2021, however, when road crashes and deaths due to them registered an absolute decline due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, the severity rate had spiked above 37%.

Rising severity

The increasing severity “underscores the need for improved trauma care and traffic calming measures aimed at reducing crash impact parameters”, notes the government report.

According to an analysis by the Save Life Foundation, with a crash severity of 38.15, India ranks among the 20 worst countries for road crashes. According to World Road Statistics, 2022 published by the International Road Federation, Geneva, which uses data for the year 2020 in terms of the total number of fatalities, India was followed by China (with a crash severity of 25.22) and the United States of America (with a crash severity of 2.01).

Deadly highways

The country’s road network has increased to 63.32 lakh km in 2022 from 58.98 lakh km in 2019, the year before the pandemic. National and State highways, which account for only 4.9% of the total road network, witnessed 56.1% (2,58,679) of all road crashes and almost 61% of all road crash fatalities in the country.

Of the factors causing road accidents, “over speeding” was the most common. It accounted for 72.3% of accidents and 71.2% of deaths.

In terms of road crash fatalities, Uttar Pradesh registered the maximum share of deaths at 13.4%. This was followed by Tamil Nadu at 10.6% and Maharashtra at 9%.

An age-wise breakdown of road crash data shows that most of those who died were in the 18-45 age bracket (66.5%). However, 9,528 children were also killed due to road crashes in 2022, which means that around 26 children died every day during the year.

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