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Road accidents in India - statistics & facts

India is one of the busiest countries in the world in terms of road traffic. The automotive industry across the south Asian country became the fourth largest in the world in 2017. In 2021, there were more than three million new car registrations in the country. The Indian road network, spanning over five million kilometers, carried almost 90 percent of the country’s passenger traffic and about 65 percent of the goods. With the rapid increase in the number of cars and the mercilessly congested Indian roads, road safety has turned into a factor of utmost importance for the country’s citizens.

Injuries and fatalities on the road

Accidents on road have become a major concern for the people as well as the government. About three to five percent of the GDP was invested in road accidents each year. India roughly accounts for just about one percent of the global vehicle population. However, it accounted for about six percent of the total global road accidents. In 2020, there were around 132 thousand deaths due to road accidents in India. One of the contributing factors could be the ever-increasing vehicle population. In the last decade, the road network across the country grew by about a third of its original length. Vehicle registrations on the contrary, increased by almost three times. The majority of the accidents involved two-wheelers, which also dominate the Indian automotive industry in terms of production and sales. Over-speeding was another significant contributor to road accidents in India. Driving under alcohol influence, hit and run cases, and general traffic violations resulted in almost 80 percent of the accidents being the driver’s fault. Citizens aged between 18 and 45 years were involved in about 70 percent of the road accidents.

Ways to reduce road accidents

Lack of proper infrastructure for vehicles as well as pedestrians has presumably caused a spike in road accidents across India. The capital city of Delhi reported the highest number of deaths across the major cities, at approximately 1.2 thousand in 2020. Pedestrians in the capital region were the leading victims of road accidents that year. Considerable efforts were made by the Delhi Traffic Police to curb down traffic incidents. Over 104 thousand on-the-spot prosecutions were made by the police for over-speeding in 2019. The highest number of traffic violations and prosecution slips were handed to two-wheeler riders in the capital. Strict enforcement of these laws will likely be a key factor in mitigating the road accident cases across India. To reduce damage to lives, the fine for speeding was increased by ten times under the new Motor Vehicles Act of 2019. Proper driver training and meticulous planning of the fast-growing road networks could also be key factors towards improving road safety in India.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 21 most important statistics relating to "Road accidents in India".

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