Road Rage And Drunk Driving Main Culprits As Maharashtra Witnesses Massive Increase In Road Accidents
- Number of accidents in Maharashtra have tripled in the last four years
- Pune was the city with highest number of road accidents
- The 108 emergency app remains underused in the state
New Delhi: 400 deaths a day, over 1,50,000 deaths a year. These are the staggering numbers of casualties haunting India as far as death from traffic accidents is concerned. Numerous lives are lost daily on Indian roads, due to rash driving, poor road conditions and lack of infrastructure to protect pedestrians. Of states where instances of deaths due to road accidents occur the most, Maharashtra is the worst offender, as per a report by Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services (MEMS). The report says that since 2014, emergencies due to road accidents increased by 162 per cent, from 28,758 to 75.559. Pune was the worst hit among Maharashtra’s cities as per the report, with Mumbai coming third.
A humungous number of two lakh people were injured in road accidents in Maharashtra in the past four years. The timing of phone calls received by emergency services to report accidents in Maharashtra were between 4 PM and 8 PM or between 8 PM and 12 AM. The time slots indicate that most of the accidents happened when vehicular movement on the roads was at its busiest, which resulted in such high fatalities.
Road raging and drunk driving were also identified as two of the primary reasons for road accidents in the state. Collision of vehicles due to road raging was a major cause why many fatalities occurred across the state.
Racing between two vehicles inevitably ends up in fatal traffic accidents and Maharashtra has witnessed that aplenty in the past four years. The traffic police departments in the major cities of Mumbai and Pune and doing aplenty to curb drunk driving, but rash driving and road raging incidents are something people should take responsibility for and the number of accidents will come down significantly, said Umesh Mane, Managing Director of Bharat Vikas Group which operates MEMS and one of the contributors to the MEMS report.
The report also said that despite being a state with such high number of road accidents deaths, there were not many users of the 108 mobile emergency app. The app allows a user to call for help from accident sites and on receiving an SOS call, emergency services such as ambulances are rushed to the spot. The app is still used by merely few thousands, despite being launched in August 2016.
It is unfortunate that the 108 emergency app continues to be underused, though a lot of civic organisations and traffic police departments across the state continue to promote it. But lack of emergency services immediately after an accident causes most of the deaths in road accident cases. The 108 emergency app is a handy one that can be used in accident cases, said Mr Mane.
The huge surge in road accidents in Maharashtra does not bode well for the state and the state government must take it upon itself to take up regulatory steps to curb road accidents. Failing to do this will only increase the number of accidents in the state and make its roads killer pathways for its residents.