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Road Accidents Report 2018

Published: 25th Nov, 2019

Recently, the Ministry of road transport and highways released a report on “Road Accidents in India, 2018”.


Recently, the Ministry of road transport and highways released a report on “Road Accidents in India, 2018”.


  • India reports around 500,000 road accidents every year, out of which 150,000 are fatal accidents. It is estimated that the economy lost around 3% of GDP (1999-2000) due to road mishaps.
  • India, ranks 1st in the number of road accident deaths across the 199 countries reported in the World Road Statistics, 2018 followed by China and US. As per the WHO Global Report on Road Safety 2018, India accounts for almost 11% of the accident related deaths in the World.
  • Road accidents are the leading cause of death among people in the 5-29 age-group worldwide with more than 1.35 million lives lost each year and 50 million sustaining injuries, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report. According to the government data, road crashes kill close to 1,50,000 people each year in India. 
  • Rapid Urbanisation, poor safety, lack of enforcement, influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding and a failure to wear seat-belts or helmets are the major causes of road accidents in India

Finding of the Report

  • A total of 4.7 lakh road accidents have been reported by States and Union Territories (UTs) in 2018, claiming 1,51,417 lives and causing injuries to 4,69,418 persons. The report says that road accidents last year increased by 0.46% as compared to 2017.
  • Over-speeding is the major cause of road accident deaths and accounted for 64.4% of the persons killed.
  • National Highways which comprise of 1.94 percent of total road network, accounted for 30.2 per cent of total road accidents and 35.7 per cent of deaths in 2018. State Highways which account for 2.97% of the road length accounted for 25.2 percent and 26.8 percent of accidents and deaths respectively.
  • Traffic violations related to driving on the wrong side of the road accounted for 5.8% of the accident related deaths. Use of mobile phones accounted for 2.4% of the deaths with drunken driving accounting for 2.8% of the persons killed.
  • Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh remain accounted for the highest number of road accidents and death on account of road accidents respectively in 2018
  • Major Reasons for Deaths in Road Accidents in India
    • Over-speeding (64.4%)
    • No helmet (28.8%)
    • No seatbelts (16.14%)
    • Driving on Wrong Side (5.8%)
    • Drunken Driving (2.8%)
    • Using Mobile Phones while Driving (2.4%)

Steps by Government

Government of India has set a target to reduce the accidents and fatalities by 50% in five years (2020).

Justice K.S. RadhaKrishnan Committee

  • Supreme Court had set up the three-member KS Radhakrishnan panel on road safety in April 2014. The SC had termed the roads in India as “giant killers”
  • The main recommendations of the committee were:
  • Ban on the sale of alcohol on highways (both state and national) to restrain drunk driving.
  • The states were directed to implement laws on wearing helmets.
  • Audit of road safety to be implemented by states to ensure the safety standards in the design, construction, and maintenance of roads.
  • The committee stressed on the importance of creating awareness among people on road safety rules.

Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019

  • Stiff penalties for drunken driving, driving without licence, dangerous driving, over-speeding, overloading and other serious offences
  • Aims to reduce the corruption and waiting time in vehicle registration and licensing through the use of automation and e-governance

Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety

  • The declaration was signed at the Second Global High-Level conference on Road Safety held in Brazil in 2015.
  • Through the Brasilia Declaration Countries plan to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 3.6 which aims to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2020.
  • The main points of the Brasilia Declaration are:
    • Countries should form transport policies in order to favor more sustainable modes of transport such as walking, cycling and using public transport.
  • It highlights strategies to ensure the safety of all road users
    • by improving laws and enforcement
    • making roads safer through infrastructural modifications
    • ensuring that vehicles are equipped with life-saving technologies
    • enhancing emergency trauma care systems

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