India: 426 people killed every day in 2021 in road crashes, report says

Last year marked the highest fatality in road accidents, with over 155,000 deaths



Published: Sun 4 Sep 2022, 9:08 PM

Over 155,000 lives were lost in road crashes across India in 2021 — an average of 426 daily or 18 every single hour — which is the highest death figures recorded in any calendar year so far, according to official data.

Besides the deaths, 371,000 people were also injured in 403,000 ‘road accidents’ across the country last year, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data under the ‘Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India – 2021’ head.

Uttar Pradesh reported the highest toll with 24,711 deaths followed by Tamil Nadu which recorded 16,685 deaths.


While the number of deaths due to crashes reached its highest last year, the number of road accidents and persons injured has come down compared to previous years, the report of the NCRB, which functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs, revealed.

The rate of deaths per thousand vehicles in 2021 (0.53) was higher than that in 2020 (0.45) and 2019 (0.52) but lower than 2018 (0.56) and 2017 (0.59), the data showed.

The maximum increase in number of traffic accident cases in states from 2020 to 2021 was reported in Tamil Nadu (from 46,443 to 57,090) followed by Madhya Pradesh (from 43,360 to 49,493), Uttar Pradesh (from 30,593 to 36,509), Maharashtra (from 24,908 to 30,086) and Kerala ( from 27,998 to 33,051).

Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra accounted for 14.2 per cent, 9.6 per cent and 9.5 per cent of total deaths in traffic accidents respectively and collectively accounted for 33.3 per cent (57,842 out of 1,73,860) of total fatalities reported at all India level during 2021.

In 2020, the year of Covid-19 lockdowns, there were 354,000 road accidents in the country in which 133,000 persons had died while another 335,000 were injured.

In 2019, there were 437,000 road accidents in which 154,000 people had died while another 439,000 were injured, the data showed.

“Generally road accidents have caused more injuries than deaths, but in Mizoram, Punjab, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, road accidents caused more deaths compared to persons injured,” the NCRB annual report said.

For Mizoram, the figures were 64 deaths and 28 injuries in 64 road accidents, while Punjab recorded 4,516 deaths and 3,034 injuries in 6,097 road accidents, the NCRB said.

“In Jharkhand, 4,728 road accidents caused 3,513 deaths and injuries to 3,227 persons, and in Uttar Pradesh, 33,711 road accidents caused 21,792 deaths and injuries to 19,813 persons,” it added.

The NCRB report’s data for 2021 also suggested that public transport, like buses, were safer than private modes of conveyance, like motorcycles.

Of the total deaths in road accidents, 44.5 per cent were riders of ‘two-wheelers’ followed by cars (15.1 per cent), trucks or lorries (9.4 per cent) and buses (3 per cent), the data revealed.

Also, a majority (59.7 per cent) of the road accidents were due to over-speeding, accounting for 87,050 deaths and injuries to 228,000 persons.

Dangerous or careless driving or overtaking contributed to 25.7 per cent road accidents which caused 42,853 deaths and injuries to 91,893 persons, it added. Only 2.8 per cent of the road accidents were due to poor weather conditions, the NCRB noted.

Of the total road accidents, 59.7 per cent were reported in rural areas (240,000 cases) and 40.3 per cent in urban areas (162,000 cases).

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