16 deaths every hour: Indian roads claim the maximum number of lives in 2014

As India is still learning to build sustainable all weather roads, we are way off designing road safety measures. It is both amazing and horrific to see the callous approach of oiur authorities while building roads.

The end result is more and more road accidents and deaths:

Indian roads were at their deadliest in 2014 claiming more than 16 lives every hour on average. Over 1.41 lakh people died in crashes, 3% more than the number of fatalities in 2013. The numbers of crashes and of people left injured were also the highest levels since the recording of such data started in India—at 4.5 lakh and 4.8 lakh respectively.

According to the latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), speeding and dangerous driving were the biggest reasons for road fatalities. Accidents involving two-wheelers and trucks & lorries accounted for nearly half of the lives lost in road crashes.

While 13,787 two-wheeler drivers were killed in crashes, 23,529 other people were killed in accidents involving these vehicles, while close to 1.4 lakh people were left injured in them. Over-speeding accounted for about 1.7 lakh crashes and nearly 49,000 deaths and dangerous/careless driving or overtaking claimed another 42,000-plus lives in 1.4 lakh crashes.

It is not that govt alone is responsible. People too are a part of the problem. Most who drive recklessly are overconfident of their driving abilities leading problems for both themselves and the other party in the accident.

Having said that, there is little doubt that road design can go a long way towards mitigating such accidents. Random roads come up from no where having no signs and instructions. Road maintenance is so so poor that people get killed trying to avoid some blackhole or the other.

Road accidents and deaths do not get the same negative publicity like other disasters. Only time road accidents are discussed is when there is a celebrity involved. But reality is roads kill far more people and happens at a fairly regular rate. They are actually increasing here. But somehow it continues to miss the attention it actually requires.

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