• Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Nearly 170,000 people died in India road accidents in 2022; most due to overspeeding: report

Indian transport minister Nitin Gadkari said in a recent interview that government intervention might not be enough to curb road accidents if people themselves were not serious about traffic rules.

Mangled remains of a car that was involved in a road accident in Punjab, India. (Photo by NARINDER NANU/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIA last year saw deaths of at least 168,491 people on its roads, government data showed.

While the South Asian nation accounts for only one per cent of the global vehicular population, it registers the most number of accident-related deaths in the world.

Last year, the deaths recorded represented a 9.4 per cent rise on the previous year, a new report published by India’s transport ministry said. It added that seven out of every 10 deaths were caused by overspeeding.

The report, which was unveiled on Tuesday (31), said 462 lives were lost in a day and 19 every hour to road accidents in India last year. Among the dead was Cyrus Mistry, one of India’s top businessmen and a former chairman of the Tata Sons, who was killed in a road accident in the western state of Maharashtra.

Also, more than 440,000 people were injured in road accidents in the country and between 2021 and 2022, the number of accidents went up by almost 12 per cent. Most of the accidents were caused by vehicles either being hit from back or in hit-and-run cases, the report added.

Last December, Rishabh Pant, one of India’s explosive wicket-keeper-batter, was left seriously injured in a horrific car crash in the northern state of Uttarakhand in the wee hours.

The report said the southern state of Tamil Nadu saw the most number of accidents followed by the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

It was also added that India could momentarily buck the trend in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic started. Data showed there was an “unprecedented decrease” in accidents and deaths, particularly in March and April that year when the Indian government imposed a lockdown to curb the spread of the virus, the transport ministry said.

But it was soon back to where it was.

The ministry said it has been making efforts to curb the problem such as bettering design of roads and improving surveillance on highways and imposing harsh fines for violations of traffic rules. But Indian transport minister Nitin Gadkari conceded in an interview last month that government intervention might not be enough unless people themselves were more serious about traffic rules.

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