Sunday, June 17, 2007

Driving in India is 10X As Dangerous as the USA!

Buyer Behavior blog (Professor Ray Titus in Bangalore India), has a post "Driving in Bangalore/India," about how "accidents on Indian roads have now reached gargantuan proportions," with the following picture:

Ray also provides some tips for driving in India, and I have actually driven in Bangalore with Ray as recently as last March, and I can say from firsthand experience that the man knows how to drive in India!

According to World Bank data, India had 20.3 traffic fatalities per 10,000 vehicles in 2003, which compares to only 1.86 traffic deaths in the U.S. per 10,000 vehicles according to these NCSA data (note the U.S. reports deaths per 100,000 vehicles as 18.59). Therefore, it is more than 10X more dangerous to drive in India than the U.S., measured by traffic deaths per 10,000 vehicles (see graph above).

Watch this amazing video of traffic somewhere in India at an unmarked intersection, and you'll get an idea of how insanely chaotic the traffic situation really is in India, with the crazy mix of cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, bicycles, auto rickshaws, cows, pedestrians, dogs and even occasionally camels!

(Thanks to an anonymous comment that questioned my previous post, which was based on data from this website that incorrectly shows 185.8 deaths per 10,000 vehicles in the USA instead of 1.86, they must have studied "rainforest math.")


At 6/17/2007 10:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The USA doesn't fare all that well though when compared to other industrialized nations. For example, the US per capita death rate per 100,000 population for 2004 was 14.53. In the Netherlands, it was 4.93. What's more, in most of Europe, traffic fatalities have been in a sharp decline, whereas in the US they have been more or less static.

Drive and Stay Alive,Inc

At 6/22/2007 7:51 AM, Blogger Vik Rajagopalan said...

Right said uncle Fred !

The fact for such a mad rush is because of the infrastructure issues which I believe would be straightened out with planned cities and proliferated and sustained growth.

However on the lighter side, I will interest you in a story, Its about Gazels and a Lions in the African jungle. The story goes, "There are Gazels in an African forest which every morning start thinking it should run faster than the fastest Lion in the forest to survive that day and there are Lions which think they should run faster than the fastest of the Gazels every day to get food for their survival; and no matter who you are every morning as the sun comes up you start running and this this the world order!!".

I think people in this part of the woods took that story a bit personally and that is the reason for the chaos even when we drive :-)

At 7/05/2007 8:46 AM, Blogger AJ said...

Much of the world wide web is full of sarcasm & mocking of driving on Indian roads. This site has been created with the purpose of providing driver education and training rather than criticism.

At present 17 driver education videos aimed at changing the driving culture on Indian roads are available. To watch the videos, please visit:

Please publish / forward this link and help change the driving culture on our roads

The videos cover the following topics:

Video 1: Covers the concept of Blind spots
Video 2: Introduces the principle of Mirrors, Signal and Manoeuvre
Video 3: At red lights, stop behind the stop line
Video 4: At red lights there are no free left turns
Video 5: The Zebra belongs to pedestrians
Video 6: Tyres and Tarmac (rather than bumper to bumper)
Video 7: Merging with the Main road
Video 8: Leaving The Main Road
Video 9: Never Cut Corners
Video 10: Show Courtesy on roads
Video 11: 5 Rules that help deal with Roundabouts
Video 12: Speed limits, stopping distances, tailgating & 2 seconds rule
Video 13: Lane discipline and overtaking
Video 14: Low beam or high beam?
Video 15: Parallel (reverse parking) made easy
Video 16: Give the cyclist the respect of a car
Video 17: Dealing with in-car condensation

Many thanks,

Adhiraj Joglekar


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