‘9 people killed every day in 2017’: Why you need to stop using your phone while driving

New Delhi: Using mobile phone while driving is a very common practice among drivers – be it the working professionals or the designated pilots of commercial four-wheelers. We have been warned about its consequence for a long time now and it appears that many still don’t take this norm seriously.

As per Road Accident Report – compiled by Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry – a total of 8,526 accidents in 2017 occurred due to the use of the phone while driving. It added up to nearly one in five (18 %) road mishaps that took place because of using mobile phones during driving. If we narrow it down further, about nine lives were lost on a daily basis due to use of mobile while driving.

According to the report, 98 two-wheelers riders died every day for not wearing helmets, while 79 four-wheeler occupants died daily for not wearing seatbelts.

Majority of lives claimed by the use of mobile phones while driving can be traced to Uttar Pradesh – where 53 % lives were claimed in the said fashion.

The report further states that use of mobile phones while driving vehicles led to 282 and 257 deaths in Maharashtra and Orissa, respectively.

Though a major chunk of road mishaps could be attributed to the usage of mobile phones, over-speeding has emerged as the biggest cause for road accidents across India causing 70.4 % of the total accidents in 2017. Among the total casualties, 67% of deaths were caused by speeding.

Here are the major highlights from the report:

  • The 2017 data shows some improvement in terms of road accidents as compared to 2016. The number of road accidents was down by 3.3% and the number of injuries by 4.8% in 2017 from the previous year.
  • The number of deaths in 2017 was less by 1.9% compared to 2016. In 2016, a total 1,51 lakh persons died from a total of 4.81 lakh accidents. Last year, 22,428 people were killed in hit and run cases in India and drunk driving claimed 4776 lives in 2017.
  • 30.4% of total road accidents took place on national highways, while 34% of all road accidents involved two-wheelers.
  • People between 18 and 45 years of age are the major victims of road accidents, who form 72.15 % of total victims in 2017.
  • According to the report, 98 two-wheelers riders died every day for not wearing helmets while 79 four-wheeler occupants died daily for not wearing seatbelts.
  • Karnataka has the highest number of four wheeler fatalities i.e. 4,035 deaths followed by Tamil Nadu with 3,497 deaths while Uttar Pradesh was on third with 2,897 deaths.