India ranks first in the number of road accident deaths across 199 countries as reported in the World Road Statistics, 2018 followed by China and US. As per the WHO Global Report on Road Safety 2018, India accounts for almost 11% of accident related deaths in the world.
As per a World Bank study conducted in 2017, if India were to successfully halve road deaths and injuries between 2014 and 2038, it could potentially add 14 percent to its GDP per capita.
A total of 4,67,044 road accidents have been reported by States and Union Territories (UTs) in the calendar year 2018, claiming 1,51,417 lives and causing injuries to 4,69,418 persons.
National Highways which comprise of 1.94 percent of total road network, accounted for 30.2 per cent of total road accidents and 35.7 per cent of deaths in 2018. State Highways which account for 2.97% of the road length accounted for 25.2 percent and 26.8 percent of accidents and deaths, respectively. Other Roads which constitute about 95.1% of the total roads were responsible for the balance 45% of accidents and 38% deaths, respectively.
Over speeding is a major killer accounting for 64.4% of the deaths followed by driving on the wrong side of the road which accounted for 5.8%. Use of mobile phones accounted for 2.4% of the deaths, while drunken driving accounted for 2.8% of the persons killed.
Two-wheelers accounted for the highest share (35.2%) in total accidents and (31.4%) in accident related deaths in 2018. Light vehicles comprising cars, jeeps and taxis as a category, ranked second with a share of 24.3 per cent in total accidents and 20.3 per cent in total fatalities.
Number of pedestrians killed accounted for 15%, share of cyclists was 2.4%. Two-wheelers were at 36.5%. Together these categories explain 53.9% of the accident related killings and are the most vulnerable category quite in line with global trends.
During 2018, like the previous two years, young adults in the age group of 18 - 45 years accounted for nearly 69.6 percent of road accident victims. The working age group of 18 - 60 accounted for a share of 84.7 percent in the total road accident deaths.
The number of hit and run cases in 2018 accounted for 18.9% of the deaths compared to 17.5% in 2017. Head on collision, hit and run cases and hit from the back together accounted for almost 56% of persons killed in 2018. The category which registered the maximum increase in terms of persons killed in 2018 was collision with parked vehicles.
The share of males in number of total accident deaths was 86% while the share of females hovered around 14% in 2018.