At least 98 two-wheeler riders without helmets died daily in 2017 while another 79 car occupants lost their lives every day in accidents because they were not wearing seatbelts, according to a Road Accident Report. The use of mobile phones while driving also claimed about nine lives every day last year.
While the report, based on data provided by state police and transport departments and show a slight decrease in the total number of fatalities — from nearly 1.51 lakh in 2016 to about 1.48 lakh in 2017 — there has been a steep increase in the number of people dying because of failure to use safety gear or devices.
For example, fatalities caused by not wearing crash helmets rose to 36,000 in 2017 as compared to 10,135 the previous year. Tamil Nadu had the highest share of these fatalities at 5,211, followed by UP with 4,406 and Madhya Pradesh third with 3,183 lives lost.