Guwahati: Sikkim in Northeast India recorded the highest road fatality rate in the country in 2021 despite not having a larger share of the road network and registered motor vehicles.
This was revealed in the Road Accidents in India 2021 report brought out by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, which provides information on various facets of road accidents in the country during the calendar year 2021.
Arunachal Pradesh recorded the highest increase in road accidents in the country in 2021 as compared to 2020. The state registered 283 accidents in 2021 as compared to 134 in 2020, which is an increase of 111.2 percent.
The state also recorded the highest number of persons killed in accidents in 2021 as compared to 2020. In 2021, 157 persons died in road accidents as compared to 73 in 2020, which is an increase of 115.1 percent.
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As per the report, there were 4,12,432 unfortunate incidents of road accidents during 2021 in the country which claimed 1,53,972 lives and caused injuries to 3,84,448 persons. During the previous year 2020, India saw an unprecedented decrease in accidents, fatalities and injuries. This was due to the unusual outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant stringent nationwide lockdown, particularly during March-April 2020, followed by gradual unlocking and phasing out of the containment measures.
Major indicators related to accidents have performed better in 2021 when compared to 2019. Road accidents decreased by 8.1 percent and injuries decreased by 14.8 percent in 2021 compared to 2019. Fatalities, however, on accounts of road accidents increased by 1.9 percent in 2021 corresponding to the same period in 2019.
“During 2021, Sikkim (8.7) recorded the highest fatality rate followed by Bihar (6.8). About 50 percent of states have a fatality rate above the national average of 4.0 during 2021,” the report stated.
Assam is in the 5th place in the road fatality rate.
The fatality rate is used to explain road accidents relative to the vehicular population in the country. It is measured by the number of road accident fatalities (persons killed) per 10,000 vehicles. The national average accident fatality rate has been declining over the years and remained at 4.0 in 2021.
“The fatality rate is useful for comparing road safety across states, particularly those with similar levels of motorisation. Comparing the number of road fatalities in relation to the number of vehicle kilometers driven (total distance travelled by motor vehicles) provides a better indicator for assessing the risk of travelling on a given road network. The number of traffic deaths in relation to the number of registered vehicles sometimes serves as an approximation for the fatality rate in the absence of data on distance travelled,” the report stated.
Generally, states with a larger share of the road network and registered motor vehicles accounted for relatively higher fatality rates.
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However, Maharashtra, which has the largest roads network (6,28,715-km with 11.6% share in 2019) and the highest number of registered motor vehicles in the country (37.78 million, 11.5% in 2020), recorded a fatality rate of 3.1, which is lower than the national average.
Mizoram continued to have the highest severity rate in 2021 at 81 percent. It had the highest severity rate in 2019 too, which is measured by the number of persons killed per 100 accidents increased from 36.0 in 2020 to 37.3 in 2021. Despite some marginal fluctuations, the accident severity has been on increase since 2000. It underscores the need for improved trauma care and traffic calming measures, which aim at reducing crash impact parameters. About 60 percent of states have accident severity higher than the national average.
The report stated that despite some marginal fluctuations, the percentage share of Northeast states in total accidents has been constant during the last five years i.e. 2017 to 2021.
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“Among the Northeast states, Assam recorded the highest number of accidents from 2017 to 2021. Nagaland with 746 accidents is in second place followed by Tripura (479) and Manipur (366). The number of accidents has been increasing in 2021 over 2020 in all the Northeastern states except Manipur. Manipur has 66 fewer accidents in 2021 over 2020,” it stated.
Assam recorded a 12.4 percent increase in road accidents in 2020. Manipur is the only state in the Northeast that has recorded a decrease of 15.3 percent in accidents in 2020.
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