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'1.46 lakh deaths in 5 Lakh Accidents'

 The “Road Accidents in India 2015” report was released by Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, compiled by the Government of India’s Transport Research Wing. The report highlights that there has been a 2.5 percent increase in road accidents, with 5,01,423 accidents in 2015, against 4,89,400 accidents in 2014. The total number of deaths too increased by about 4.9 per cent from 1,39,671 deaths in 2014 to 1,46,133 deaths in 2015. Rate of injuries also increased by 1.4 percent to register 5,00,279 injuries in 2015 against 4,93,474 injuries in 2014.

The report points to a double whammy, as both the number of accidents and number of deaths have increased by 2.5 percent and 4.6 percent respectively, from the total number of accidents and deaths in the year 2014. On a daily basis, these statistics translate to 1,374 accidents per day and 400 deaths per day, which can be further translated to 57 accidents and 17 lives every hour in India. What’s even more worrying is the age group, as 54.1 percent of the accident victims age between 15 and 34 years.

Tamil Nadu tops with 69,059 accidents, followed by Maharashtra with 63,805 accidents in 2015. In the list of top thirteen states with the highest number of accidents in 2015, Madhya Pradesh comes third after Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra sharing the spots 1 and 2 respectively. Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Telangana, Chattisgarh, West Bengal and Haryana make up the rest of the 13 states that report statistically higher incidences of accidents, where a major chunk of 83% of the accidents took place.

In terms of deaths, Uttar Pradesh topped with 17,666 fatalities, followed by Tamil Nadu with 15,642 deaths and Maharashtra with 13,212 deaths. While 28.5 people died per 100 accidents, the figure rose to 29.1 per 100 accidents. Mumbai tops in terms of the number of accidents in 2015 with 23,468 accidents, while Delhi topped in terms of deaths with 1,622 fatalities in 2015.

The report also reveals plans by the Minister, Ministry and the Government of India to reduce the number of accidents by 50% in 2020. While technical and mechanical safety measures like mandatory ABS in two-wheelers and cars, speed limiter and speed sensors in cars and buses, can reduce casualties and fatalities, public awareness plays a major role in cutting down on accidents, as much as improvised trauma care is necessary. It is also the responsibility of each of us to ensure that accidents just do not happen!

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