While, we have reported many stories on our blog here – the statistics mentioned in this report has put our heads down in shame. Many governments have come and gone; and almost ALL automotive biggies have stepped into the Indian soil – no stakeholder has given enough importance to this topic. Every life lost on the road fades away and no concrete step is taken to avoid its reappearance. To highlight our overall incompetence and the adversities caused due to it, take a look at the mentioned statistics –
- Over 5 Lakh Road Accidents occur every year and in these over 1.46 lakh people lose their lives!
- 17 Deaths on Indian Roads every Hour and almost over 400 every day! India has seen more road deaths per year than any other nation since 2006.
- We lose more people to Road Accidents than to Terrorist Attacks or Diseases. Infact, lives lost to Road Accidents is over 1,682 times more than that in Terrorism!
- Road accidents shave 3% off the country’s GDP every year!
- More than half of the people killed in more than 500,000 road accidents last year were aged 15-34.
- Motorised vehicles accounted for 95.5% of the total road accidents. Amongst the vehicle categories, two-wheelers accounted for the highest share in total road accidents (28.8%) in 2015 followed by cars, jeeps and taxis (23.6%); trucks, tempos, tractors and other articulated vehicles (19.7%), other motor vehicles (9%), buses (8.3%) and autorickshaws (6.1%).
- India has the world’s sixth-largest car market, but is still the only country among the global top ten car markets without a testing program that measures the safety of vehicles.
- Speeding is the single factor responsible for the maximum number of deaths on Indian roads.During 2014, 57,844 deaths – 41% of the total – were due to accidents caused by speeding.
- Speeding, drunk driving and low use of helmets, seat belts and child restraints in vehicles as the main contributing factors.
- Along with the aforementioned factors we feel that Poor Infrastructure, Improper Safety Regulations, Lower/No Safety features on vehicles running on Road are equally responsible to Road fatalities.
So what has the Government & OEMs done for this? – ‘PROCRASTINATING’ will be the right term. Equally responsible are the people – who have never given enough importance to either road safety rules or having apt safety features on their automobile. Many of our bestsellers score 0 stars in Global NCAP tests and we never blink an eye. Even our own Bharat NCAP was scheduled to begin mid-2014, but postponed to start from 2017. (obviously because of delay in setting up labs and other facilities). While our Road Infrastructure is one of the worst in the world; our Driving Manners would not help either.
We suggest the following measures to improve the scenario:
- Fast-track implementation of Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP). Let us ensure that we certify a vehicle deemed ‘FIT’ to ply on Indian Roads.
- A central government agency to be setup to study the condition of Indian Roads and Patch up the all the Potholes or widen accordingly within next 1 year.
- Newer Highways is the need of the hour. We have seen nothing major post the Golden Quadrilateral project. Highways will not only connect the nation; but also ease of the burden in many smaller roads and hence reduce the accidents as well.
- Stricter Licence Norms – RTOs have to be extremely wary before issuing licenses and proper tests to be conducted for the same. Road Traffic Adherence Assessment should have the Topmost importance.
- Pathways and Foot Overbridge – seen only in major cities. Why not implement it across?
- Minimize Drunk & Driving cases – When was the last time we saw an awareness campaign on the same. And why the same is not checked in highways more often (compared to cities).
- How do we curb cases of Speeding –
- Mandatory Speed regulators on all commercial vehicles
- Ensure ALL vehicles have ABS/EBD
- Speed detectors at accident prone areas
- Learn from Sweden – Sweden is on its way to reaching zero road deaths per year.