As many as 97,588 people died in 2018 due to accidents caused by over speeding. The figure accounts for 64.4% of the total deaths in India, according to road transport and highways ministry report on ‘Road Accidents in India, 2018’.
There were 1,51,417 deaths due to road accidents in 2018, an increase of 2.3% from 2017, data showed. Road accidents last year totaled 4,67,044.
Driving on the wrong side was the second most common violation, leading to casualties which accounted for 5.8% of total deaths in 2018. Drinking under the influence of alcohol and drugs, jumping red lights, and use of mobile phones together accounted for 6.5% of total accidents and 6.2% of total deaths.
In some sort of a respite, the number of accidents, deaths and persons killed on account of over speeding, drunken driving, lane indiscipline, jumping red light decreased on a year-on-year basis, indicating an improvement in enforcement at the national level. However, accidents-related deaths and injuries triggered by the use of mobile phones witnessed an increase in 2018 from 2017.
The report pointed out that human error, road quality, and condition of vehicle were key causes of road accidents.
India accounts for almost 11% of accident-related deaths in the world.
The data follows the amended Motor Vehicles Act, imposing stiff penalties for traffic violations to inculcate a sense of discipline among travelers. Facing public outcry, several states, however, reduced the fines. The data is expected to help policy makers take steps to address rising road accidents and accident related deaths.
“What is important to note is that a lot of states which have opposed the implementation of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act or have even reduced the fines are amongst the states with highest road crash fatalities. The latest data highlights the urgent need on part of the states to implement key road safety provisions of Motor Vehicles Amendment Act,2019," Piyush Tewari, Chief Executive Officer of SaveLIFE Foundation said.
During 2018, young adults in the age group of 18-45 accounted for nearly 69.6% of the road accident victims. The working age group of 18-60 accounted for a share of 84.7% in the total road accident deaths.
“In terms of accident related killings by type of road user, the number of pedestrians killed accounted for 15%, the share of cyclists was 2.4% and that of two wheelers was 36.5%. Together these categories explain 53.9% of the accident related killings and are the most vulnerable category quite in line with global trends," the report said.
National Highways, which comprise 1.94% of the total road network, accounted for 30.2% of total road accidents and 35.7% of deaths in 2018. State highways which account for 2.97% of the road length accounted for 25.2% percent and 26.8% accidents and deaths respectively.