New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) At least 17 people died in road accidents every hour in 2016, taking the total casualty count to over 1.5 lakh during the year, an official report said on Wednesday.
The report also revealed that the number of fatalities in accidents increased by 3.2 per cent to 1,50,785 in 2016 compared to 1,46,133 in 2015 even as the total number of road accidents fell by 4.1 per cent from 5,01,423 to 4,80,652.
“During 2016, a total of 480,652 road accidents were reported which caused 150,785 deaths and left 494,624 persons injured in the country,” said the “Road Accidents in India 2016” report released by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
“Thus, on an average 1,317 accidents and 413 accident deaths take place on Indian roads every day or 55 accidents and 17 deaths every hour,” it said.
The report added that while national highways constitute about two per cent of the total road network of India, they accounted for 29.6 per cent of total road accidents and 34.5 per cent of total number of persons killed.
Compared to 2015, road accidents on national highways went up from 28.4 per cent to 29.6 per cent.
“It is a matter of concern that persons killed on national highways remain very high,” it said.
Among the vehicle categories, two-wheelers accounted for the highest share in total number of road accidents at 33.8 per cent, up from 28.8 per cent in 2015. The share in number of deaths for two-wheelers also increased from 31.5 per cent in 2015 to 34.8 per cent in 2016, the report added.
It said that based on data reported by the police, drivers’ fault was the single most important factor responsible for 84 per cent of the total number of accidents.
Drivers’ fault included exceeding the speed limit, overtaking, driving under influence of alcohol or drugs and use of mobile phone while driving.
Gadkari said the government had taken several measures to bring down fatalities due to road accidents including improvement in road engineering and vehicle safety standards, apart from creating awareness among drivers as well as public.
He added that the government was now formulating all road construction proposals considering all safety elements and precautions to avoid accidents.
“Bringing down the number of accidents is a big task and the government is sensitive towards the issue. These trends will improve in the future,” he said.
Gadkari added that he had also instructed states with higher number of accidents to conduct a detailed study to ascertain the reasons and measures for rectification.