Will improved roads reduce traffic accidents in India?
With India's road infrastructure weakening, ministry officials are looking to better the roads in an effort to reduce road accidents. Although numbers show that poor road infrastructure contributes to road accidents, it is a much smaller amount than the other causes. Reports showed that the maximum number of deaths in road accidents were due to over speeding, causing nearly 48,654 deaths.
India's road infrastructure
Poorly constructed roads have proved to be one of the country's biggest problems. New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mumbai, West Bengal and Bihar saw over 10,000 deaths in the country due to poorly constructed roads. With uneven roads and speed bumpers, and a vast number of potholes lining the country's roads, many have fallen to their death after being trapped in potholes.
Road accidents on the rise?
Across most of India's states, the accident cases due to weak road infrastructure were just around 2 percent. Over the last five years, road accidents have increased nearly 1.2 percent every year. These numbers have been increasing despite the road ministry's efforts to increase spending for improving the condition of roads. Last week, the road minister announced measures to reduce accidents by 50%.
Strategies to better road infrastructure
"These measures are geared to tackle the problem through a multi-pronged strategy which include effective road engineering solutions at the design stage, rectification of accident black spots, improvement in automobile engineering, driver education, revision and effective enforcement of laws," Nitin Gadkari said.
Where does India stand for road accidents?
Data shows that India's estimated road traffic death rate stood at around 16.6 in 2013. This was pitched to be lower than China's statistics of 18.8, although India's figures were much higher than Indonesia, Bangladesh, Mexico and Singapore. With reports showing that rising road deaths are due to careless driving and weather conditions, it highlights that citizens need to be sensitized to road safety.