Poor infrastructure has made Mumbai-Pune expressway deadlier

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jul 20, 2015 23:00 IST
A victim near one of the crushed vehicles on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. (HT Photo)

The Mumbai-Pune Expressway has become a death trap for motorists. While most of them are because of human error such as speeding, lane indiscipline and rash driving, in the past two years, the second highest cause for accidents on the stretch has been design and infrastructure faults.

According to a study, 27% of the accidents on the expressway between 2012 and 2014 were because of poor road signage and sharp turns.

On Sunday, two people were killed when their cars were caught in a landslide at the expressway on Sunday afternoon. Another man lost his life when a car hit him while he was helping with the rescue operations.

Last year, 443 accidents took place on expressways across Maharashtra, which claimed 157 lives. Of these, 133 people were killed on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway in 353 accidents.

A study was conducted by JP Research India (JPRI) between October 2012 and 2014 to identify the various factors responsible for the number of accidents.

The report submitted to the Maharashtra state highway police said 8% of the 372 accidents reported during the study period were because of sharp turns on the expressway.

Inadequate warnings about any mishaps that may have taken place on the expressway or parked vehicles resulted in 7% of the accidents, the study found.

“The expressway has many sections of road with sharp curves, which require the driver to reduce speed and steer carefully. Unfortunately, because of insufficient advance warning, drivers are not prepared and can end up understeering and departing the roadway,” the report said.

Lack of road markings and signs were responsible for 6% accidents, while narrow shoulders (emergency stopping lane) along the route caused 5% of the mishaps.

According to the study, 29% accidents in the period were caused because the driver was tired.

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