Though the numbers hovered over the 9,000 mark between 2001 and 2004, it jumped to 13,961 in 2005, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
Despite a cut in the numbers in 2006, when 11,009 people died in road accidents, the figure rose the following year to 12,036.
Since 2008 with 12,784 deaths, the number of deaths has seen a steady increase from 13,746 in 2009, to 15,409 in 2010 and 15,422 in 2011.
Last year, the number of deaths stood at 16,175, the majority of them involving two wheelers (4,466).
Trucks/lorries (3,027), buses (2,196), tempo/vans (1,055), jeeps (324) and cars (2,531) were the other vehicles contributing to the total number in 2012, NCRB said.


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