Tamil Nadu tops in highway accidents across the country

Tamil Nadu tops in highway accidents across the country

The number of road fatalities fell significantly during 2020 across the country, the main reason for which was the lockdown imposed in the country following the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The number of persons killed in road accidents on National Highways declined from 1,51,113 in 2019 to 1,31,714 in 2020, while the number of road deaths decreased by 12.8 per cent on average in 2020 as compared to 2019, according to the latest report of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

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In Tamil Nadu too, the number of accidents on National Highways came down in 2020 — there were 15,269 accidents on National Highways within the state in 2020, compared to 2019 when the number of accidents was 17,633.

Driver’s negligence main cause

Similarly, the number of deaths also came down to 3,203 in 2020 against 3,956 in 2019. The report says the majority of the accidents were caused by the negligence of drivers.

Analysis of top 10 states selected  — on the number of accidents and fatalities reported on National Highways during 2020 — shows that Tamil Nadu recorded the highest number of accidents in 2020, but the number of persons killed in road accidents is the highest in Uttar Pradesh.

In India, road crashes claim about 1.3 lakh lives and leave more than 3.4 lakh people injured every year. As a result of concerted and coordinated road safety efforts, there has been a decline in the number of accidents and fatalities over the years.

Reasons for accidents

The ministry report cites many reasons for these accidents. Contrary to general belief, it’s not old vehicles that are more involved in accidents; in 2020, across the country, a total of 1,19,693 road accidents involved vehicles less than 5 years old and the highest number of deaths —41,537 — also involved vehicles fewer than 5 years old.

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Overloaded vehicles and vehicles with loads protruding are also a traffic hazard. Overloaded vehicles accounted for 6.7 per cent of total accidents, 7.9 per cent deaths and 7.2 per cent of the injured in 2020. However, accidents, accident-related deaths and injuries caused by overloading registered a decline of 32.1 per cent in 2020 over 2019.

Expansion in the road network, surge in motorisation and a rising population were some other factors that contribute towards increasing numbers of road accidents, accident-related injuries and fatalities.

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