More people die on the road in Delhi every year but Chennai is more prone to accidents

We all know driving in Delhi is one of the more dangerous activities one can do. In 2013, 1530 people lost their lives due to fatal accidents in the national capital, the most in any city in the country by some distance. Another 5637 were left injured–some grievously, others not so much.

To some that may not come as a surprise. Delhi has by far the maximum number of cars on the road. It is more than Bombay, Calcutta and Bangalore put together. So the number of fatalities is also more. But does that make Delhi’s roads the most unsafe in India? Not quite.

Figures collated by National Crime Records Bureau reveal that it is Chennai at 9705 that reported more accidents than Delhi (6566). The southern city also leads the capital in injuries with 8700 cases compared to Delhi’s 5637.

In short, you are more likely to meet with an accident and sustain an injury in Chennai but if you want to die, you have to be behind the wheel in Delhi.

The broader picture

The NCRB’s data base is a mine-field of information on traffic behaviour across the country and it is something that most–including your’s truly till now–have never chanced upon. Now that I have, it is pertinent to share some of the salient bits. Too bad, if the numbers do not surprise you. You have become as cynical as me.

* In 2013, 1,37,423 people lost their lives in a road accident in India. 1,59,490 sustained injuries.

* 377 people die due to road accidents every day. Another 1287 people are injured.

* Every day 66 people die in an accident involving a truck or a lorry. 94 people die on a two wheeler.

* Total number of accidents reported during 2013 were 443,001. For some strange reason, Tamil Nadu accounts for a lion’s share of these accidents at 15%, followed by Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh at nearly 10% apiece.

* May is the month when the maximum accidents at 43,064 take place. Considering that the weather is dry and visibility generally clear around the country during that month, it is same to assume drivers become callous and negligent. Speed kills.

* Most accidents happen between 6-9 PM everyday and not late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. Clearly, the rush to get back home from office is what leads to this though spartan traffic later may also contribute to lesser instances of collision.

* Lastly, and not susprisingly, more people die on a two wheeler (24.9%) in case of an accident than in any other vehicle. Tragedy strikes an average 17.5% for those in a truck or a lorry. Though it grabs more headlines, ONLY 10.8% of those who died last year were in a car.

P.S. : The ONLY is not because dying in a car is any less tragic but because quite often those in a car kill others instead of themselves.

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