Nearly half of Indian road accident deaths involve two-wheelers: Overspeeding biggest killer – Times of India

It is safe to say that technology has always been at the forefront of automotive development. There has been a focus on measures that would make travelling safer for the masses in the last couple of years. The government and manufacturers are making efforts to create vehicles that are safer to operate and reduce the number of casualties on roads. Anti-lock braking system (ABS) used to be a feature that was seen on premium two-wheelers but is now available in even 150cc motorcycles. Homegrown carmakers are scoring top marks in crash testing and in the last few years, the mandate for airbags has gone from one to two to now six.
However, after all these endeavours, the number of casualties on the road does not seem to be going down. In fact, it was much higher in the year 2021 than before. According to a report released by the National Crime Records Bureau, the number of traffic-related accidents in 2021 has risen by 14.6 per cent to 4,22,659. A major contributor to this figure was road accidents which amounted to 4,03,116. This figure itself has seen a rise of 13.6 per cent compared to the previous year. These road accidents took 1,55,622 lives while 3,71,884 people were left injured. The fatality rate is the highest in the last five years.
A staggering 44.5 per cent of the deaths involved two-wheelers which are a common mode of transportation in India. Due to the high amount of traffic on roads and lower costs of procurement and running, two-wheeler sales in India are much higher than in the rest of the world. However, this mode of transportation also leaves the rider and the passenger more vulnerable in case of an accident. While wearing helmets has been made compulsory for both the rider and the pillion, many people still tend to ignore the rule. This increases the chance of sustaining major injuries or even death in case of a collision.
This rise in the number of accidents and fatalities begs the question if, despite the stricter safety norms, newer rules and smarter vehicles, there is still much work to be done to bring down the number of unfortunate casualties. Overspeeding was the cause of more than half of the road accident deaths in 2021 with dangerous/careless driving being the second highest reason. These types of accidents can mostly be avoided if individuals decide to monitor their driving behaviour and act responsibly. Raising awareness among people and educating them is crucial for a creating population that is careful when it steps out on the road and values the lives of others as much as their own.

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