Road accident fatalities continue unabated

November 01, 2017

The Himalayan Times, 31 Oct 2017 

The country recorded an average of 28 road accidents which killed six persons every day in the fiscal 2016-17.

According to statistics published by Nepal Police, a total of 2,385 persons were killed in 10,178 roads accidents in 2016-17 compared to 2,006 in 10,013 road accidents last fiscal. The data show the rising trend of road accidents and fatalities in the country each year.

Similarly, 12,540 were injured, 4,250 critically, in 2016-17. “Despite gradual rise in road traffic accidents, the government and concerned agencies have failed to prevent the fatalities. The government is doing nothing to dismantle the transport syndicate and upgrade poor road infrastructure, which many studies show are major causes of accidents in the national highways. “Nepal Police is doing its best to bolster road safety,” said a senior official at Nepal Police Headquarters.

A total of 1,356 people were killed in road accidents in the fiscal 2008-09, followed by 1,734 in 2009-10, 1,689 in 2010-11, 1,837 in 2011-12, 1,816 in 2012-13, 1,786 in 2013-14 and 2,004 in 2014-15.

Central region topped the chart with 735 deaths, while western region recorded 567, eastern region 498, mid-western region 270 and far western 133 deaths in 2015-16. Similarly, 182 were killed in the Kathmandu Valley compared to 166 last fiscal.

Road accident stands as a major killer in Nepal. On an average, 1,800 persons die in road accidents across the country every year. Many accidents go unreported mainly because the parties involved settle the matter themselves. Accidents with minor injury or damage to vehicles are often settled at the accident site and are not reported to police. Only accidents causing human injury are reported.

Nearly 75 per cent of the accidents are attributed to negligence of drivers. In 2016-17 driver’s negligence caused 7,487 road accidents followed by 1,392 due to speeding, 288 due to drink driving, 376 due to recklessness of passengers, 213 while overtaking vehicles, 149 because of mechanical failure, 33 overload, 31 stray cattle, 94 poor road condition and 15 bad weather.

According to the Ministry of Health, road accident (7 per cent) is the fourth leading cause of death after infectious diseases, child and maternal mortality (42 per cent), cardiovascular diseases (25 per cent) and cancer (11 per cent) in Nepal.