Every 100 km stretch of the national highways in India witnessed 92 accidents and 40 deaths on an average during 2021, government data shows.
According to Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India, 2021, the national highways recorded 1.22 lakh accidents killing 53,615 people against total 4.03 lakh road accident cases reported across India that killed 1.55 lakh.
The accidents and deaths witnessed per 100 km on the national highways are nearly double of the accident cases and deaths registered on an equal stretch of state highways. In fact, if we consider the entire road network of India, every 100 km witnessed just six accidents and two deaths.
India has 63.9 lakh km of road of which national highways are just 1.33 lakh km. While the national highways are just 2% of the total roads in India, they accounted for over 30% of the total road accidents and over 34% of deaths. The state highways, however, are about 3% of the total roads in India and account for about 24% road accidents and 25% deaths. The ‘other roads’ accounted for the remaining 95% and its share in road accidents was 46% and 40% in deaths during 2021.
“The highest numbers of deaths in road accidents were reported on the national highways accounting for 34.5% followed by state highways, 25.1%” the report reads.
Further analysis of the state-wise number shows that most fatalities in road accidents on the national highways took place in Uttar Pradesh (13.5%) followed by Tamil Nadu (10.0%), Maharashtra (7.5%), Rajasthan (6.8%) and Andhra Pradesh (6.7%) last year. Out of the total 53,615 deaths reported on the national highways across India, over 57%, that is, 30,806 deaths were reported from just seven states.
Earlier this month, Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry died in a car accident at the Mumbai-Ahmedabad national highway. Prima facie investigations suggested that over speeding and “error of judgement” by the driver led to the accident.
A total of 4,03,116 accident cases were reported during 2021 on the entire road network, which was an increase from 3,54,796 cases registered in 2020.
The 4.03 lakh accidents caused 1.55 deaths and injured 3.71 lakh last year. Generally, road accidents have caused more injuries than deaths but in Mizoram, Punjab, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, road accidents caused more deaths compared to persons injured.
In Mizoram, 64 road accidents caused 64 deaths and injured 28, in Punjab, 6,097 road accidents caused 4,516 deaths. While in Jharkhand 4,728 road accidents caused 3,513 fatalities and injured 3,227 persons, in Uttar Pradesh, 33,711 road accidents caused 21,792 deaths and injured 19,813.
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