India experienced the 1317 road accidents everyday in 2016, out of which neighbouring states Tamil Nadu and Karnataka had the highest and third-highest share, with 16% and 11% respectively.
The 'Road Accidents in India-2016' report, released by Union Minister of Road, Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said 4,80,652 accidents occurred on Indian roads, which killed 1,50,785 persons and injured 4,94,624.
This meant that everyday, 413 people were killed on average. On an hourly basis, that translates to 17 people.
Even while comparing accidents in major cities, the capitals of both states occupy identical positions when it comes to the number of accidents occurring on their roads.
While Chennai witnessed 7486 accidents, Bengaluru saw 5323 cases of road mishaps, which killed 1183 and 835 persons respectively.
However, New Delhi emerged as the city with deadliest roads, with 1591 number of reported fatalities of road rage.
Compared to 2015, 2016 registered a 3.2% spike in the number of accident deaths across the country despite seeing a 4.1% drop in the total number of accidents.
Over the last 10 years, the number of fatal road accidents has only increased.
â€śIt is a matter of concern that the number of road accident deaths have been increasing alarmingly over the years 2005 to 2016,â€ť the report said.
Speaking to TNM, Ashish Verma, a sustainable transportation expert at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, said that the problem of increasing accidents has to be countered with a three-pronged approach.
"The reasons are multiple. The culture of road safety is missing in our system. There are faults in engineering designs of our roads, there is fault with respect to the licensing system and also the enforcement mechanism," said Ashish.
He suggests that the government should equally concentrate on road safety, rather than stressing on building faster highways, says that the concept of road safety audits have only â€śexisted largely on paperâ€ť in India.
There is a lot that needs to be done with the driver licensing system, which needs to move away from concentrating only on the technical ability of the drivers as it neglects the â€śhigher order aspects of the individual,â€ť he adds.
He also points out that there is a need for 24x7x365 technology-based traffic law enforcement, as a lot of these accidents occur due to the violation of traffic laws. "Involving humans in the process brings in corruption and subjectivity. Currently, enforcement is carried out in some times of the year according to the whims and fancies of the traffic police," he says.