The NCRB report shows that in 2021 as many as 1.74 lakh people lost their lives in around 4.22 lakh traffic accidents.
In a significant jump, the country has witnessed more and more road accident cases claiming 426 lives per day in 2021, highest number of casualties in a year so far.
According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, road crashes in India claimed 426 lives per day or 18 every hour, a record jump in road mishap.
At close to 1.56 lakh road fatalities recorded during the last year, it surpassed the number of people killed during the pre-pandemic year of 2019, indicating how reducing road deaths remains a big challenge for the government.
The maximum increase in number of traffic accident cases in states from 2020 to 2021 was reported in Tamil Nadu (from 46,443 to 57,090) followed by Madhya Pradesh (from 43,360 to 49,493), Uttar Pradesh (from 30,593 to 36,509), Maharashtra (from 24,908 to 30,086) and Kerala ( from 27,998 to 33,051).
In Mizoram, 64 road accidents caused 64 deaths and injuries to 28 persons; in Punjab, 6,097 road accidents caused 4,516 deaths and injuries to 3,034 persons; in Jharkhand, 4,728 road accidents caused 3,513 deaths and injuries to 3,227 persons; and in Uttar Pradesh, 33,711 road accidents caused 21,792 deaths and injuries to 19,813 persons.
While the rising number of road fatalities is a big concern, the data has pointed to a worrying trend of the consistent increase in the share of two-wheeler occupant and pedestrian deaths in the country in recent years.
The data show that out of every 100 persons killed in road crashes, at least 44 were two-wheeler occupants. Their overall number stood at 69,240, an increase of 18 per cent more than 2019.
Tamil Nadu alone had nearly 12 per cent share of the all two-wheeler deaths in the country, followed by UP (10 per cent).
A comparative analysis of last four years data shows that the share of two-wheeler occupants’ death has increased from 35.7 per cent in 2018 to 44.5 per cent in 2021.
The spike has been recorded despite the share of two-wheelers in total vehicular population remaining almost unchanged at 73-75 per cent since 2014.
Two-wheelers still remain the most preferred and affordable mode for transport across urban and rural areas in absence of a robust public transport system. Two-wheelers have no feature to protect occupants except for enforcement of rules to wear helmets.
The NCRB report also shows that fatalities of pedestrians stood at 18,900 in 2021, which is an increase of nearly 60 per cent from the pre-pandemic year of 2019.
The share of pedestrians in overall road deaths also continuously increased from 6.9 per cent in 2018 to 12.2 per cent during last year.
Among all states, Bihar had a whopping share of nearly 15 per cent of all pedestrian deaths in the country during 2021.
Road safety experts have flagged that as the governments have gone ahead with building more highways, expressways and even elevated stretches in cities only for faster movement of cars, they have overlooked how to create the facilities for safe passage of pedestrians.
Despite the huge number of two-wheelers, no city has created segregated lanes for these vehicles. They said more two-wheelers on roads without segregation creates more conflict and results in accidents.
Road crashes remain a big concern considering its large share in the overall “Traffic Accidents”.
The NCRB report shows that in 2021 as many as 1.74 lakh people lost their lives in around 4.22 lakh traffic accidents and 1.56 lakh of these were road deaths.
Traffic accidents include the crashes at railway crossings and other railway accidents. During last year the number of fatalities linked to railway crossings and railways was 18,238.