NEW DELHI: A total of 16,397 persons were killed in road accidents in 2021 due to not wearing seat belt, of which 8,438 were drivers and remaining 7,959 were passengers, according to a report by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
The report titled ‘Road accidents in India — 2021’ further said a total of 46,593 persons were killed in road accidents due to not wearing helmet, of which 32,877 were drivers and 13,716 were passengers.
A total of 4,12,432 road accidents occurred in 2021 which claimed 1,53,972 lives while 3,84,448 people were injured.
According to the report, not wearing helmet caused injuries to 93,763 persons and not wearing seat belt caused injuries to 39,231 persons during 2021.
Not using safety devices such as helmet and seat belt does not cause accidents but are critical for averting fatal and grievous injuries in the event of road accidents.
Helmet is mandatory for all motorists on two-wheelers, barring few exemptions.
Former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry was killed in a road accident on September 4 after his car hit a divider in Maharashtra’s Palghar district.
It appears that Mistry, who along with his friend Jahangir Pandole were seated in the rear, wasn’t wearing a seat belt and must have been thrown in front at great velocity once the speeding car crashed into the divider. Both Mistry and Pandole died in the accident.
Although not wearing a seat belt by passengers sitting in the rear seats attracts a fine of Rs 1,000 under Rule 138 (3) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR), most people are either unaware of this mandatory rule or just ignore it.
As per the report, Uttar Pradesh retained its top position in road accident fatalities at national level like in 2020, accounting for 15.2 per cent of the total fatalities followed by Tamil Nadu (9.4 per cent) Maharashtra (7.3 per cent), and Rajasthan (6.8 per cent).
The report said drunken driving, driving on wrong side, jumping red light and use of mobile phone together accounted for about 8.2 per cent of total accidents and 9.35 per cent of fatalities on national highways.
The data shows that 67.5 per cent of accidents occurred on straight roads, whereas accidents on curved roads, pothole roads and steep grade together accounted for only 13.9 per cent of the total road accidents.
Road sections where construction work was in progress accounted for 2.2 per cent of the total accidents in 2021.
About 20.9 per cent of fatalities took place on various junctions in 2021, the report said, adding that within the junction category, T Junction accounted for the largest share of accidents, persons killed and injured.
While almost three-fourths of the accidents and fatalities took place under sunny/clear weather, the report said accidents under adverse weather conditions such as rainy, foggy and hail/sleet accounted for only 16.8 per cent of the total road accidents during 2021.
The report is based on the data/information received from police departments of states/Union Territories collected on calendar year basis.