At 31.54%, Himachal Pradesh’s road safety record was poorer than the national average, both in terms of population as well as number of vehicles, shows the data of the last five years released by the state traffic police department.
The national average of road accidents per lakh of population is 29.3%.
The state also had a higher rate in accidental deaths per lakh of population at 13.77% against the national average of 10.93%.
In terms of vehicles, rate of accidents per 10,000 vehicles was 15.1% for India, while HP’s record was 17.37%.
The number of accidental deaths per 10,000 vehicles in Himachal was 6.93% against the national average of 5.08%, the data shows.
As per the analysis of fatalities by the Himachal police, 23% accidents were caused due to head-on collisions, 22% due to vehicles veering off the road and 19% due to pedestrian hits.
The analysis of data between September 2017 and 2022 shows that 15,648 mishaps took place in Himachal Pradesh in which 6,273 persons died and 25,729 got injured.
At 2,617, Kangra district saw the highest number of accidents in the last five years, which claimed 847 lives and left 4,199 injured.
Shimla district has the second highest number of accident rate in the state with 2,555 mishaps, 1,169 fatalities and 4,387 people with injuries.
Among the police jurisdictions, Una saw the maximum fatalities where 193 people died in road accidents, followed by Nalagarh where 173 road accident deaths were registered. Theog and Una police stations have the highest registration of road accident injuries at 247 and 243, respectively.
About 32% of the accidents in Himachal were caused by four-wheelers, while 30% involved the two-wheelers, the data reveals.
About 80% accidents were reported from rural areas, according to the analysis of the police data. Most of the accidents involving pedestrians occurred at night due to poor visibility, the police say.
The highest number of accidents and fatalities were recorded on national highways, followed by link roads and state highways, while over 200 people were killed in hit-and-run incidents.
Kangra district topped in pedestrian deaths in road accidents followed by Una and Baddi. Driving over permissible limits, rash and negligent driving and driving under influence, mainly in plain areas, were the factors behind pedestrian deaths, the police data shows.
Areas under the jurisdictions of Baddi, Una, Paonta Sahib, Nalagarh, Kullu, Amb, Nurpur, Sadar Hamirpur, Balh and Kangra police reported the majority of the accidents involving pedestrians.
In the wake of the rising number of accidents, public works minister Vikramaditya Singh has directed the PWD officials to develop pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, especially in the plain areas (to prevent hit-and-runs), crash barriers in hill areas (to prevent run-off accidents) and remove black spots to prevent head-on and junction collisions.
While presiding over a meeting on road safety on Friday, he stressed on course correction and improving the Himachal’s record in terms of national average. Director general of police Sanjay Kundu had briefed him in the meeting attended by superintendents of police of all 12 districts.