The high socio-economic cost of the injuries and fatalities, occurring due to road accidents, and the need for effective policies for curbing road accidents make it imperative to study the causes of road accidents. The analysis of road accidents in terms of causal factors reveals that drivers’ fault is the single most important factor responsible for accidents, fatalities and injuries. Drivers’ fault accounted for 77.5 per cent (3,85,806 accidents) of total accidents; 72.0 per cent (1,02,620) of the total number of persons killed and 78.2 per cent (3,99,911) of the total number of persons injured in road accidents during 2011 (Chart 22). The fault of the cyclists and that of the pedestrians appears to be of marginal consequence accounting for a share of 1.3 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively, in road accidents during 2011. Cyclists and pedestrians were responsible for about 1.8 per cent and 3.1 per cent, respectively, of total number of persons killed in road accidents. Defects in the motor vehicles caused 1.6 per cent of road accidents and 2.1 per cent of fatalities in road accidents.
Within the category of drivers’ fault, accidents caused and persons killed due to ‘Exceeding lawful speed’, accounted for a high share of 59.0 per cent (2,27,536 out of 3,85,806 accidents caused by drivers’ fault) and 58.4 per cent (59,932 out of 1,02,620), respectively.
Intake of alcohol / drugs by drivers resulted in 24,655 road accidents and 10,553 fatalities. As a proportion of total accidents and deaths due to ‘drivers’ fault’, intake of alcohol/drugs accounted for 6.4 per cent and 10.3 per cent, respectively.
Overloading/overcrowding of vehicles accounted for 1,00,238 road accidents and 33,604 road deaths. As a share of total road accidents and deaths, these figures constituted 20.1 per cent and 23.6 per cent, respectively.