Road accidents are the leading cause of death among people in the 5-29 age-group worldwide according to a World Health Organisation report.
More than 1.35 million lives are lost each year and 50 million people sustain injuries. Globally, road accidents are the tenth leading cause of death.
India accounts for about 5 lakh road accidents annually, one of the highest in the world, in which about 1.5 lakh people die and another 3 lakh become crippled.
Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways V.K. Singh has said that around 71% of 4.49 lakh road accidents in India in 2019 were due to over speeding.
According to experts, the main causes of road accidents in India are rapid urbanisation, poor safety, lack of enforcement, distracted drivers, influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding and a failure to wear seat-belts or helmets.
There has been a 10% reduction in the number of deaths caused due to accidents in the country since the passage of the amended Motor Vehicles Act, said Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.
He said the government has pledged to reduce 50% accidents in the next five years, and India is a signatory to this at the World Safety Conference held in Sweden recently.
Among various steps being taken to reduce accidents, the government proposes to open 1,000 driving schools in the country.
In 2020, the government launched a central accident database management system known as the Integrated Road Accident Database that will help in analysing causes of road crashes and in devising safety interventions to reduce such accidents in the country.