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53 road crashes, 17 deaths per hour in 2018: Annual government report

Traffic chaos and over speeding on a main road. Representative photo.

Traffic chaos and over speeding on a main road. Representative photo.   | Photo Credit: M. VEDHAN

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Over-speeding is a major killer, followed by driving on the wrong side, says the report released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

More than 1.5 lakh people lost their lives in road crashes in the country in 2018, registering an increase of 2.4% as compared to the year before, when there were 1.47 lakh fatalities.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways released the annual report on road accidents in India on Tuesday, which shows a daily average of 1,280 road crashes and 415 deaths. This translates into 53 crashes and the loss of 17 lives every hour. Road traffic injuries constitute the eighth leading cause of deaths in India in 2018.

53 road crashes, 17 deaths per hour in 2018: Annual government report

India is the most unsafe country in the world for road users across 199 countries, as reported by the Geneva-based World Road Federation’s World Road Statistics 2018. It’s followed by China (63,000 deaths) and the U.S. (37,000 deaths).

The annual report also reveals that of the total people killed in road crash deaths in 2018, 48% were between 18 years and 35 years old. Minors involved in road crash deaths were at 6.6% of the total deaths.

Over-speeding

Over-speeding is a major killer, accounting for 64.4% of the persons killed. This category was followed by driving on the wrong side of the road, which accounted for 5.8% of the accident related deaths. Use of mobile phones accounted for 2.4% of the deaths and drunken driving accounted for 2.8% of the persons killed.

Not wearing helmets and seat belts are not causes of crashes, but are critical for avoiding grievous injuries and fatalities. As many as 43,614 deaths or 28.8% of total road accident deaths in the country last year were caused due to “non-wearing of helmets”. “Non-wearing of seat belts” was linked to 24,435 deaths or 16.1% of total road accident deaths in the country. Among the States, Tamil Nadu (13.7%) topped the country in terms of the total number of road crashes, followed by Madhya Pradesh (11%) and Uttar Pradesh (9.1%). The highest road fatalities were observed In Uttar Pradesh (22,256), followed by Maharashtra (13,261) and Tamil Nadu (12,216).

‘Urgently implement’

Commenting on the report, Piyush Tewari, CEO and founder, SaveLIFE Foundation, said, “The data provided by the government for 2018 points out that the number of road crash deaths in 2018 has increased at the national level. However, what’s important to note is that a lot of States that have opposed the implementation of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act or have reduced the fines are amongst the States with the highest road crash fatalities. The latest data highlights the urgent need on part of the States to implement key road safety provisions of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019.”

Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Uttarakhand were among the States that heavily slashed the penalties levied under the amended law.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 5:51:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/53-road-crashes-17-deaths-per-hour-in-2018-annual-government-report/article30019969.ece

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