‘One-third road deaths occur on national highways’

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Commuting on highways greatly raises the risk of accidents and deaths compared to city roads, according to the latest data.

According to data released by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), the national highways accounted for 32.6 percent of total deaths on the roads and 27.5 percent of the accidents in the country in 2014, although they comprised only 1.59 percent of total road length.

It noted that 46,110 (32.6 percent) people died on national highways out of 141,526 road deaths across the country. State highways were responsible for 27.8 percent of the fatalities.

The NCRB data said national highways comprise 76,818 km (1.58 percent) out of 48,65,394 km of roads. The total number of accidents in the country in the year was 450,898.

“About 65 percent of freight and 80 percent passenger traffic are carried on the roads. National highways constitute not more than two percent of the road network, but contribute to about 40 percent of the total road traffic, which is a major reason behind the accidents,” a National Highways Authority of India official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

As per the NCRB data, state highways similarly report more road accidents compared to city roads.

State highways comprise 3.38 percent of total road length in states but report 25.2 percent of the road accidents. However, a considerable number of road accidents are also reported on other roads, which accounted for 46.4 percent of total accidents during 2014, the NCRB data showed.

Uttar Pradesh is on the top of the death list on national highways, with maximum fatal accidents at 11.9 percent (5,503 deaths out of 46,110).

Tamil Nadu is on second place with 11.3 percent (5,189 deaths) followed by Maharashtra 8.4 percent (3,852 deaths), Rajasthan 7.7 percent (3,561 deaths), Karnataka 7.4 percent (3,393 deaths) and Andhra Pradesh with 6.1 percent (2,828 deaths).

But with regard to fatalities on state highways, Tamil Nadu tops the list with 5,090 out of 39,325 deaths, or 12.9 percent. This is followed by Maharashtra with 11.1 percent deaths on state highways during 2014.

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