With 942 people involved in motor vehicle accidents, 2018 recorded the most number of accidents in the last seven years and the highets number of deaths in the past 13 years.

According to the Annual Info-Comm and Transport Statistical Bulletin 2019 released this week, 135 lost their lives while 807 sustained injuries in accidents.

There were 1,360 vehicle accidents in the country.

Driver’s error was the major cause of accidents resulting in 85.3 percent of the total accidents or 1,160 clashes in the country.

Speeding caused 113 accidents and drink driving, 160 most of which occurred in Thimphu and Chukha.

Bad road conditions led to 82 accidents, 48 from poor weather conditions, and 257 from mechanical failure.

While the death from accidents has been increasing for the past six years, the past three years recorded more than 100 deaths each year: 105 in 2016, and 104 in 2017.

Thimphu recorded the highest number of accidents – 460, but Chukha tops the fatality list with 47 deaths from 296 accidents.

Dagana, Gasa, Lhuentse, Punakha and Trashiyangtse recorded less than 10 accidents last year.

No one died in an accident in Bumthang, Haa and Lhuentse while a life was lost in Dagana, Gasa, Tsirang and Trashiyangtse.

As of December 2018, there were 100,544 vehicles compared to 92,008 in 2017, which is a 9.28 percent increase or 8,536 vehicles.

In the past one year, Bhutanese bought 23.4 vehicles a day, which comes to one every hour.

The number of heavy vehicles increased by 14.2 percent or 1,386 more vehicles after adjusting for new and off road vehicles, thereby taking its total to 11,152.

Total number of medium vehicles increased by about 79 numbers or by 5.58 percent compared to the previous year.

After adjustment, 5,272 light vehicles were added to the country’s roads in 2018 which was an increase of 8.84 percent from 2017, taking the total number of light vehicles to 64,925.

Two wheelers increased by 709 to 10,874 and taxis by 217 taking the total tally to 4,672 in the country.

More than 52 percent of the vehicles are registered in Thimphu, 34.5 percent in Phuentsholing and the least in Mongar with less than two percent.

Light vehicles make up close to 64.6 percent of the total vehicles followed by heavy vehicles including buses, and two wheelers.

Government and state-owned corporations had 7,073 vehicles including 26 electric vehicles.

Tshering Palden