Tiny Goa’s roads are India’s most dangerous
In a grim reminder that tourist-destination Goa has deadly roads, the tinniest state in the country has beaten all other states and Union territories to top the ominous list of road accidents per lakh population for 2014. It has in fact held this gloomy position since 2011, when it recorded up to seven times the national average.
Last year, it recorded 221 road accidents per lakh population, almost six times the national average of 40. And even though only 4,230 road accidents were recorded in Goa that year-a figure abysmally lower than that recorded in larger states such as Tamil Nadu (67,250) and Maharashtra (61,627)-when the accidents were analyzed per lakh population, Goa took the top spot.
This might seem odd given that Goa’s population, according to the 2011 census, is just 14.6 lakh. Factors throwing things askew on the roads are the number of tourists who throng the state-almost 41 lakh in 2014-and the number of vehicles-close to 11 lakh (up to March 2015), which are mostly two-wheelers.
So, ‘Road Accidents in India-2014’, complied by the transport research wing of the ministry of road transport and highways, found that a majority of the accidents in Goa took place in January (433) and December (422), the peak of the tourism season, and were caused by two-wheelers overtaking and speeding on narrow rural roads and on national highways. Twenty one pedestrians also succumbed to road accidents last year.
The year gone by also saw the state register an average of 12 road accidents each day, taking away almost 25 lives each month.
The 2014 road accidents’ analysis for the country showed that on an average 56 accidents took place every hour, during which 16 lives were lost. Kerala with 103 road accidents per lakh population follows on Goa’s heels, with Tamil Nadu (98) and Karnataka (71) next. Bihar, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Nagaland feature at the bottom of the list.