Young adults account for 69% victims in India's road accidents, Kerala among top 10 states with most cases

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New Delhi: A total of 1,20,806 fatal accidents were reported during the calendar year 2020, and victims were largely young people in productive age groups, according to a new report released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).

The report titled 'Road accidents in India -- 2020', said out of a total 1,20,806 fatal accidents, 43,412 (35.9 per cent) accidents happened on National Highways, 30,171 (25 per cent) on State Highways and 47,223 (39.1 per cent) on other roads.

The total number of fatal accidents in 2020 is 12.23 per cent lower than the 2019 figure of 1,37,689.

"Road accident severity measured by the number of persons killed per 100 accidents, however, saw an increase of 2.3 percentage points during 2020," it said.

According to the report, a total of 3,66,138 road accidents have been reported by states and Union Territories (UTs) during the calendar year 2020, which claimed 1,31,714 lives and caused 3,48,279 injuries.

It said the total number of persons killed in road accidents during 2020 has been less than that of 2019 by 12.6 per cent.

Kerala featured seventh in the list of states with the most number of accidents. The top 10 states are Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Bihar.

Meanwhile, Kerala recorded 15.97% reduction in accidents compared to the previous year. Among the 27,871 accident cases, 2,979 individuals lost their lives in the state.

Young adults account for 69% victims

"For the third consecutive year in 2020, the fatal road accident victims largely constitute young people in the productive age groups," the report said.

While the young adults in the age group of 18-45 years accounted for 69 per cent of victims during 2020, it said people in the working age group of 18-60 years share 87.4 per cent of total road accident fatalities.

32% accidents on National Highways

According to the report, during 2020, out of the total 3,66,138 road accidents reported in the country, 1,16,496 (31.8 per cent) accidents took place on the National Highways (NH) including Expressways, 90,755 (24.8 per cent) on State Highways and 1,58,887 (43.4 per cent) on other roads.

While a total of 56,334 (97.3 per cent) male and 1,551 (2.7 per cent) female drivers were killed due to road accident in 2020, MoRTH said a total number of 35,552 (77 per cent) male and 10,624 (23 per cent) female passengers were killed due to road accident in the same year.

The report pointed out that both road accidents and accident-related killings are more a rural phenomenon than an urban phenomenon as in 2020, 68 per cent of road accidents deaths took place in rural areas, whereas urban areas accounted for 32 per cent of total deaths in the country.

It said among vehicle categories involved in road accidents, two-wheelers accounted for the highest share in total accidents and fatalities during 2020.

While light vehicles comprising cars, jeeps and taxis together come at a distant second, the report said in terms of road user categories, the share of two-wheeler riders in total fatality has been the highest (43.5 per cent) during 2020, followed by the pedestrian road-users with 17.8 per cent of persons killed in road accidents.

In respect of type of neighbourhood's categories, more than 47.4 per cent accidents, 53.7 per cent of death and 48.3 per cent of injury occurred in open area -- locations which normally do not have any human activities in the vicinity.

Overspeeding accounts for 69% accidents

"In 2020, under the category of Traffic Rule Violations, over speeding is a major killer, accounting for 69.3 per cent of the persons killed followed by driving on the wrong side (5.6 per cent)," the report said.

Under the road feature category, it said 65 per cent of accidents took place on straight roads, whereas accidents on curved roads, pothole roads and steep grades together accounted for only 15.2 per cent of the total road accidents in 2020.

The report pointed out that data for 2020 shows more than 72 per cent of accidents and 67 per cent of fatalities took place under sunny/clear weather.

On the state front, Tamil Nadu recorded the highest number of road accidents on National Highways in 2020, but the number of persons killed in road accidents has been highest in Uttar Pradesh.

"Major states that achieved significant reduction in road accidents and fatalities in 2020 are Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala," the report said.

The report said head-on collisions accounted for the largest share of 20.1 per cent of the total accidents in 2020, followed by hit from back (19.9 per cent) and hit and run (14.3 per cent) respectively.

While in 2020, road accidents involving drivers' with learners licence and without valid licence together constitute 14.1 per cent of total accidents, it said, adding the number of accident cases involving drivers without valid driving licence has decreased from 44,358 in 2019 to 34,854 in 2020.

In 2020, 30.1 per cent of deaths and 26 per cent of injuries were caused due to non-usage of helmets, the report said, adding that similarly, more than 11 per cent of deaths and injuries were caused due to non-usage of seat belts.

According to the report, vehicles with age below 10 years accounted for more than 50 per cent of accidents and deaths during 2020, followed by vehicles with 10-15 years of age (12.8 per cent) and vehicles over 15 years (12 per cent).

It pointed out that overloaded vehicles accounted for a share of 6.7 per cent of total accidents, 7.9 per cent of total killed and 7.2 per cent of the injured in 2020.

(With PTI inputs.)

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