Road Accidents in India – A Stark Reality for All

151,417 road fatalities in 2018
467,044 road traffic accidents
479,418 injuries registered in 2018 Children below 18 years accounted for 9977 (6.6%) road deaths and Young & adults in age group of 18 – 35 years accounted for 72,737 (48%) deaths

Least one can say about these facts are that they are alarming!

Road traffic continues to be a major developmental issue, a public health concern and is a leading cause of death and injury across the world killing more than 1.35 million globally in 2016 as reported in the Global Status report on Road Safety 2018 with 90% of these casualties taking place in the developing countries.

India, unfortunately ranks at the top with the highest number of fatalities at about 11% share in the world. It is followed by China and US. The “Road accidents in India 2018″ is an effort by the Ministry to highlight the state-wise data and causes of the accidents and fatalities.

The total number of accident related deaths in 2018 stood at 1,51,417 an increase of 2.3% from 2017. About 85% of the accident related deaths happen in the most productive age group of 18-60. Road accidents deaths not only cause severe trauma to the family of the victim but they also result in huge economic loss to the nation. Consumer VOICE remains deeply committed to reducing road accidents in the country and has been taking several measures to reduce the same.

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Role of Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019:


The most important initiative taken by the Ministry this year in respect of Road Safety has been the enactment of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019 which, provides for a sharp hike in penalties for traffic violations. The other provisions of the Act include setting up of a National Road Safety Board, protection of “Good Samaritan”, cashless treatment during golden hour, provision of third party insurance, constitution of a Motor Vehicle fund with increased compensation for hit and run, automated fitness testing for vehicles, introduction of the provision for recall of vehicles etc.

Overview of Road Accidents in India:

 A total of 4,67,044 road accidents have been reported by States and Union Territories (UTs) in the calendar year 2018, claiming 1,51,417 lives and causing injuries to 4,69,418 persons. In percentage terms, in 2018, the number of accidents has increased by 0.46 percent, persons killed has increased by 2.4%  and injuries have decreased by 0.33 percent over 2017. Road accident severity measured by the number of persons killed per 100 accidents, has seen an increase of 0.6 percentage points in 2018 over the previous year.

During 2018, like the previous two years, young adults in the age group of 18 – 45 years accounted for nearly 69.6 percent of road accident victims. The working age group of 18 – 60 accounted for a share of 84.7 percent in the total road accident deaths.

Risk Factors

Some of the risk factors which accounted for road accidents in India in 2018 are:

Over speeding64.4%
Wrong Lane Driving5.8%
Use of Mobile Phones2.4%
Drunken Driving2.8%
Non-use of helmets29%
Non-Use of seat belts16%

State wise Data:

The State of Tamil Nadu recorded the highest number of road accidents (63, 920) in 2018 while the highest numbers reported as killed  in 2018 were in the State of Uttar Pradesh (22,256).  Both these States have maintained their leads in terms of number of accidents and number of persons killed since 2017 despite the several road safety initiatives taken by both the Central and State Government.

Top 5 States:

Tamil Nadu continues to retain the first rank in terms of accidents across States in 2018, despite a reduction of 2.5%. The State accounts for about 13.7% of the total accidents in the country in 2018. Similarly, the State of Madhya Pradesh maintains its second position in 2018 despite a reduction in accidents by 2,002. The State of Uttar Pradesh moved from the fourth position in 2017 to third in 2018 registering an increase in accidents by 3,785 (9.8%). The State of Karnataka also moved down from third in 2017 to fourth in 2018 registering a decline in accidents by 835 of ie a decline of 2% from 2017. The State of Kerala maintains its fifth position in 2018 by registering an increase of  4.4%  in the number of accidents.

Road Fatalities:

Uttar Pradesh continues to retain the first rank in terms of accident related deaths across States in 2018, registering a 10.6% increase in the number of persons. The State accounts for about 14.7% of the total accident related deaths in the country in 2018. The State of Maharashtra occupies the second rank in terms of accident related deaths in 2018 and has moved up the rank by registering 997 road accidents.

Top 5 Cities:

It will be seen that Chennai ranks first followed by Delhi, Bengluru, Bhopal and Indore in terms of accidents in 2018. While in terms of those killed in 2018, Delhi ranks first followed by Chennai Kanpur, Jaipur and Bengaluru.

Chennai ranks first in road accidents (7,580) and number of persons injured (7,438). Delhi ranks first in number of fatalities (1,690). In terms of road-user categories, the share of two-wheeler riders in total road accident deaths has been the highest (36.5%) in 2018. Pedestrian road-users comprise 15%  of those killed in road accidents during 2018 confirming the share provided by WHO.

Click here for the detailed MoRTH Report

Also Read:

  1. MoRTH Report 2017
  2. MoRTH Report 2016
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