India witnessed one road accident every minute in 2011 which claimed one life every 3.7 minutes, one of the highest in the world.
According to the latest Road Transport ministry report, a total of 4.97 lakh road accident was reported in 2011. Though compared to 2010, the accidents have gone down by 1,945, the number of deaths at 1,42,485 has increased by over 7,000.
Among the states, Maharashtra topped the list with the highest number of road accidents at 68,438 followed by Tamil Nadu (65,873), Madhya Pradesh (49,406), Karnataka (44,731) and Andhra Pradesh (44,165).
Mumbai topped the list of cities with 25,471 road accidents, Delhi came second with 7281 road accidents followed by Bangalore (6031), Indore (4995) and Bhopal (3459).
"It’s a worrying trend. We need to further step up efforts to bring down the number of road accidents," said CP Joshi, road minister.
In another disturbing trend, of the total number of road accidents, 53.5% were reported from rural areas, reflecting a rising tide of motorisation in rural India. Compared to this urban areas reported 46.5% of the total number of road accidents.
Between 2001 and 2011, while road accidents has increased by 2.1% , the number of fatalities has increased by 5.5 %. In comparison, during this period, the number of registered vehicles increased by 9.9%.
Young accident victims
Officials also expressed concern over the growing number of young road accident victims. "A majority of road accident victims – 51.9 % -- are in the 25-65 age group followed by 30.3% in the 15-24 age group," the official said.