May and March happened to be the cruelest months in India as far as road accidents are concerned, accounting for nearly 18 per cent of mishaps in each of the past two years, with May 2015 alone seeing 14,000 fatalities.
Indian roads witnessed the highest ever bloodbath during May last year with more than 14,000 people killed and over 47,000 injured in 46,247 crashes.
As per the latest study on road accidents, the number of accidents in May constitute more than 9 per cent of the total over 5 lakh road accidents throughout 2015 in which 1.46 lakh were killed and over 5 lakh injured.The next cruelest month for India seems to be March which occupies second slot in road crashes for two consecutive years.
“The highest number of road accidents occurred in the month of May (46,247) followed by March (42,842), thus contributing 9.2 per cent and 8.5 per cent of total accidents month wise, respectively throughout the calendar year, 2015,” the latest annual report on ‘Road Accidents in India’ said.
It said same was the situation in 2014 with the highest 45,404 road accidents occurring in May followed by 42,524 in March and accounting for 9.2 per cent and 8.6 per cent of total accidents during the year respectively.
Another peculiar finding of the report is that the highest number of 87,819 crashes occurred in the late afternoon between 1500-1800 hours, which is 17.5 per cent of total accidents.
The second deadliest timespan for accident was recorded between 1800-2100 hours in which 86,836 mishaps occurred which constitute 17.3 per cent of the total accidents.
Contrary to the popular belief that wee hours witness maximum accidents, the findings revealed that minimum 27,954 accidents occurred between 0000-0300 hours.
Again an analysis of road accidents in urban and rural areas for 2015 revealed that contrary to the popular belief that overcrowded cities see maximum accidents and casualties, rural areas are more prone to accidents.
“The total number of road accidents in urban areas were lower (2,31,894) as compared to number of accidents in rural areas (2,69,529),” the report said.
The percentage share of accidents in rural areas and urban areas were 53.8 and 46.2 respectively in total number of accidents in the country.
The report said two wheelers accounted for the highest – about one-third share of – the alarming 5 lakh road accidents in 2015 while 33 per cent of people killed in crashes belonged to 15-24 years age bracket.
Next to it, was the share of the groups of cars, jeeps and taxis in 2015. Overloaded vehicles caused 77,116 accidents and 25,199 deaths.
Releasing the report, Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has said he was “deeply pained” at the findings that show 17 deaths in 57 crashes per hour and over 54 per cent of those killed being in the age group of 15-34 years.
This translates to an average of 400 deaths every day in road accidents in India.
“This magnitude was not killed in wars, epidemic and militancy,” Gadkari had said while releasing the report.
The report lists driver’s fault for 77.1 per cent of the road accidents in 2015.
“Driver’s fault has been revealed as the single most responsible factor for road accidents, killings and injuries on all roads for a long period of time… Driver’s fault accounted for 77 per cent of total accidents in 2015.
“Within the category of driver’s fault, road accidents caused and persons killed due to exceeding lawful speed/over speeding by drivers accounted for a share of 62.2 per cent accidents and 61 per cent deaths,” the report said.
Accidents and deaths caused due to “intake of alcohol drugs” in the same category accounted for 4.2 per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively, it said.
“However, taking into account the total road accidents and killings, the share of intake of alcohol/drugs comes to 3.3 per cent,” the report said.
It further said, the total number of hit and run cases stood at 57,083, which is 11.4 per cent of the total road accidents, and about 20,709 persons were killed in such cases.
Among million-plus cities, Mumbai recorded the maximum road accidents in the country, while the number of deaths in road mishaps was highest in the national capital.
“Mumbai had the highest number of 23,468 number of road accidents during 2015 while Delhi had the highest number of 1,622 deaths due to road accidents,” as per the government study.