Govt data reveals 3 PM to 9 PM is the most dangerous time to be on Indian roads

The 3 pm to 9 pm period has proven to be quite risky and fatal on Indian roads as the government data shows nearly 40% of the total road accidents registered in 2021 took place during that time. The time period between 12 am and 6 am, however, is the safest with less than 10% of the accidents, official data analysed shows.

According to the annual report ‘Road Accidents in India — 2021’, released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, of the total 4.12 lakh accidents registered during 2021, over 1.58 lakh were reported between 3 pm and 9 pm. Further diving into the data shows that in 2021, the interval between 6 pm and 9 pm recorded the maximum number of road accidents – accounting for about 21% of the total accidents in the country and this is in line with the pattern seen over the past five years. The time between 3 pm and 6 pm reported the second highest accidents – about 18%. During 2021, the time for 4,996 accidents was not known, the report shows.

“Afternoon and evening times are the most dangerous times to be on the road. The time interval of 0.00 hrs to 6:00am has the least number of accidents,” the report said. Analysing the numbers state-wise revealed that Tamil Nadu reported the highest number of accidents (14,416) between 6 pm and 9 pm; followed by Madhya Pradesh that registered 10,332 accidents. Clubbed with Kerala, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, these states reported 82,879 accident cases during the 3pm-9pm window – more than 52% of the accident cases registered during the period across India.

Analysing the numbers further show that since 2017, the period between 3 pm and 9 pm has been reporting over 35% of the total accidents. Also, barring 2020 – the year that saw nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak -each year between 2017 and 2021, India reported more than 85,000 road accidents during 6 pm to 9pm.

Before the pandemic, in 2017, 2018 and 2019, May registered the most accidents (41,490) and deaths (14,644) in 2019; 42,730 accidents and 14,368 deaths in 2018 and 42,799 accidents and 14,417 deaths in 2017. The report said in the last five years (2017 to 2021), the months which recorded the maximum number of accidents and accident deaths were May, June and March. “However, in 2020 these months reported a comparably less number of accidents, which may be due to nationwide lockdown and subsequent restrictions imposed on movements.”

According to the report, in total, 1,53,972 lives were lost to road accidents across India in 2021, the highest since 2011. That means, on an average, around 422 deaths were reported each day or around 18 deaths every hour. It shows that there were 4,12,432 road accidents in 2021, which caused injuries to 3,84,448 persons. Compared to 2020, India has reported 22,258 more deaths in road accidents in 2021 – a jump of around 17%, the data analysed shows.