LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh has emerged as the largest contributor to the nationwide fatalities due to road crashes by sharing 15% of the total deaths which took place last year, says the latest data released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on August 31.
Among all the states, UP recorded the highest road crash deaths – 23,285 (15% of total deaths in 2019) followed by Maharashtra recording 14,608 (9.4%) and Madhya Pradesh 11,856 (7.7%).
Despite recording a lesser number of accidents as compared to states like Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, UP tops the country in fatalities due to stray animal menace and drunken driving.
In UP, every hour, an average of at least three deaths take place due to road accidents. While the state registered 23,285 fatalities in 37,537 accidents in 2019, Tamil Nadu recorded as high as 57,228 accidents but with 10,525 deaths only. Similarly, Madhya Pradesh reported 11,856 deaths in 51,641 accidents. At the same time, Karnataka too recorded 40644 cases of road accidents but 10,951 deaths.
Drunken driving is an equally potent factor behind road crash deaths. The data shows that 849 people died in accidents due to driving under the influence of liquor and drugs. The state recorded 442 deaths due to stray animal menace last year.
Compared to 2018, road accidents in UP went up by 4% against the national rise of 1.3 %. In 2019, the country witnessed to 1,54,732 road accidents against 1,52,780 in 2018. In UP, a total of 40,783 accidents were reported in 2018 and the figure went up to 42,368 cases in 2019.
The state also recorded maximum fatalities on national highways with 7,187 deaths, while 6,385 deaths were reported on state highways and 761 on expressways. The figure for road accidents in 2020 may keep low due to COVID restrictions.
Commenting on the NCRB report, Piyush Tewari, CEO, and founder, SaveLIFE Foundation, an organisation studying the road accidents in the country, said: “On one hand, India continues to see a rise in road crash fatalities, and on the other, state governments are yet to fully implement the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019, which was passed with the intent of reducing road crash deaths. The latest figures call for introspection by all those who’ve been resisting or opposing the implementation of the new law”.
However, the medical experts attribute the highest rate of fatalities in Uttar Pradesh to the medical care system. They claim that in the absence of a dedicated medical arrangement in place to attend people getting injured in road accidents, saving the life of an accident victim becomes difficult.
“Injured people must be provided medical aid during the golden hour (within an hour of the accident), but our state lacks a proper network of ambulances. Police also react late while primary health centres are ill-equipped to tackle such cases,” said a senior orthopaedic expert Dr. Shubh Malhotra.
However, the cops at rapid response service of the police department -- UP 112 – believe that passers-by ought to be sensitized by police through awareness campaigns.
Meanwhile, at an average of six deaths daily, Uttar Pradesh stands at number two position after Maharashtra in terms of fatalities due to falling off a train or by being run over by it, says the NCRB data. In 2019, the state registered 2,239 deaths due to railway track-related accidents.
While UP registered 2,239 deaths and 345 injuries of 2,584 cases in the two categories related to tracks, Maharashtra recorded 3,778 deaths and 2,293 injuries of 6,059 accidents -- an average of 10 deaths per day. Across the country, at least 18,339 people lost their lives and 3,134 people were injured in 21,361 accidents which happened on railway tracks.
Overall, the railways recorded 24,619 deaths and 3,569 injuries in 27,987 accidents in all categories with Maharashtra reporting the highest 3,916 casualties and 2,435 injuries in 6,338 cases. UP recorded 3,521 deaths and 502 injuries in 3,980 cases.