General Insecurity

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According to the report entitled Disaster Management in India (2011),, which has been prepared by Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI:

•    Global Status Report on Road Safety (WHO, 2009) has estimated that 1.2 million people die on the world’s road every year, and as many as 50 million others are injured. Over 90% of deaths occurred in low income and middle income countries, which have only 48% of the world’s registered vehicles. The problem of road safety is acute in India. In the year 2008 alone, number of road accidents were 4.8 lakh resulting in close to 1.2 lakh deaths and 5.2 lakh injured, many of whom are disabled for rest of their lives. Sadly, many of these victims are economically active young people.

•    Between 1970 and 2008, the number of accidents quadrupled with more than 7 fold increase in injuries and more than 8 fold increase in fatalities in the backdrop of about 64 fold increase in the number of registered motor vehicles and threefold increase in road network.

•    The severity of road accidents measured in terms of persons killed per 100 accidents is observed to have increased from less than 19.9 in 2001 to 24.7 in 2008 in India.

•    Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka which had a share of around 30.4 % in total number of vehicles registered in India in 2006, accounted for about 38% of the total road accidents, 28 % of the total number of persons killed and 35% of the total persons injured in road accidents in year 2008.

•    National Highways accounted for 29% in total road accidents and 36% in total number of persons killed in 2008. Similarly, State Highways accounted for 26% of total accidents and a share of close to 28 % in the total number of persons killed in road accidents in 2008. Highways permit greater speed resulting in relatively greater number of road accidents and fatalities.

The graph below shows the total number of road accidents has increased from 1,14,100 in 1970 to 4,39,200 in 2005. The total number of persons killed due to road accidents has increased from 14,500 in 1970 to 94,900 in 2005.

Road accidents and persons killed in India (in thousand)

road accidents
Source: Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,

According to Regional Report on Status of Road Safety: the South-East Asia Region-A Call for Policy Direction (World Health Organisation, 2009),  

• Road traffic injuries kill nearly 1.3 million women, men and children around the world every year and are responsible for hundreds of thousands of injuries and disability. World Health Organization estimates predict that road traffic injury will increase from being the ninth leading cause of death globally in 2004 to be the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.

• The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that every day around the world almost 16 000 people die from injuries and violence, and that this accounted for 9.8% of the world’s deaths and 12.3% of the world’s burden of disease in 2004.

• Crash victims are often working age adults, whose families are then left without a breadwinner or bear the added expenses of caring for a disabled family member.

• In India reported number of road traffic deaths during 2006 was 1,05,725 out of which 93% were males and 7 % were females.

• Reported number of road traffic injuries in India during 2006 was 4,52,922.

• Estimated annual economic cost of road traffic injuries and/or deaths in India during 2000 was Rs. 55,000 crore

• In India, drivers and passengers of motorized two-wheelers (22%) account for the bulk of the most vulnerable road users, to be followed by users and drivers of passenger cars and taxis (15%), pedestrians (13%) and trucks (12%).

• During the year 2004, of all the registered vehicles, 71% were two-wheelers.    

• Road traffic death rate (per 1,00,000 population) in India has increased from 7.8 in 2002 to 9.2 in 2006.

• India and Thailand have seat-belt installation standards applicable only for the front seats.

• The Government of India has taken initiatives to improve public transport services as a viable alternative to private car transport.

• The effectiveness of enforcement of helmet laws is quite low in India.



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