India is a vast country with the second-highest population in the world. Further, most of the population is concentrated in pockets around major cities and industrial hubs, creating dense pockets. Also, many auto manufacturers are targeting the Indian market due to the volume of business available. Cars are being made affordable and suitable for Indian conditions. This has led to a steep rise in the number of vehicles on the roads. While the administration is constantly thriving to improve the infrastructure, the conditions of our roads still have a lot of scope for improvement. Hence, the net result of these three basic factors has been an increase in the number of road accidents.
Did you know that India ranks at the top of the list with the highest number of fatalities resulting from road accidents? It is a staggering 11 percent! This is based on a report published by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) in 2019. In 2018, India reported a total of 4,67,044 road accidents claiming 1,51,417 lives and injuring the rest. Here are some numbers pertaining to road accidents in India in 2018:
|Type of Road Accident||Number in 2018||Percentage|
|Fatal accident – an accident that results in the death of one or more person||1,37,726||29.5%|
|Grievous injury accident – an accident where one or more person suffers serious injury requiring hospitalization||1,25,311||26.8%|
|Minor injury accident – an accident where one or more person suffers injury but does not require hospitalization||1,69,920||36.4%|
Also, the distribution of these accidents, according to roadtypes, is as follows:
- National highways – 30.16%
- State highways – 25.17%
- Other roads – 44.67%
How to protect yourself?
An accident is an ‘unfortunate incident that happens unintentionally or unexpectedly, usually resulting in injury or damage’. While you can take a lot of precautions, accidents can happen. However, by taking certain precautions, you can reduce the possibility of being in a mishap. Here are some tips:
- Drive carefully
An obvious one but needed a mention. Always keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Look for blind spots and take the safer approach. Be careful while cutting lanes.
- Intersections are accident-prone
While there are no statistics confirming the same, intersections are undeniably one of the hotspots for road accidents. While you might be crossing an intersection on a green light, someone else might be in a hurry and try to zip through causing an accident. Hence, exercise caution at intersections.
- Don’t use your cell phone while driving
Talking or texting while driving is one of the primary causes of road accidents today. Driving is a huge responsibility. You need to ensure road rules while keeping yourself safe from another vehicle breaking those rules too. Hence, avoid all distractions and keep your cell phone away while driving. If you want to check your phone, park your vehicle, and take your time.
- Watch out for the unpredictable elements – kids and animals
Most of us would have experienced a kid or an animal jumping right in front of our car from nowhere. Scary and unpredictable, this happens more often than you can imagine. Hence, drive slowly through zones where kids or animals can be present like residential colonies, parking lots, roads outside parks or schools, roads cutting through national parks, etc.
- Rear-view mirrors have blind spots
While backing up your car, always try to look over your shoulder rather than depending on the rear-view mirror alone. Mirrors can create blind spots that can cause mishaps.
- Get your car serviced regularly
Bad tyres, stalled engines, loose brakes, and many other car-related factors can also lead to accidents. Hence, it is important to ensure that you get your car serviced regularly. Based on the age of your car and the frequency of use, determine a service cycle. Many car owners tend to delay servicing their cars for various reasons. However, this can be costly if the vehicle malfunctions and gets into an accident.
- Buy a comprehensive car insurance policy
All the points above were about the ways in which you can avoid road accidents. However,if you do get into one, a car insurance policy can help you manage the costs of injury or repair or damages with ease. Every car owner needs to customize the policy to suit their needs. Hence, consider insurers like Tata AIG who offer attractive add-ons or riders and ensure that you get comprehensive cover for your car. Use the car insurance calculator offered by most insurers to calculate the premium that you will have to pay based on your requirements.
Remember, road accidents can be dangerous. Also, you need not be at fault to be in an accident. Hence, you need to be aware of things around you while driving. Keep within speed limits and ensure that you always have complete control over your car. Also, ensure that you buy car insurance to be financially protected against damages or injury in case of any eventualities. Good Luck!