Imagine why would government prefer to build a cycle lane when everyone wants to go to office in car?
A huge country with population of 1.4 billion, the demand needs to be really high for the government to bring the change in current system. And we as cyclist are not close to that because a lot of us who want to start cycling for healthy and green India are afraid of riding on city roads here. An undeniable point is that few cycle riders in India try to break traffic signals as they are not riding a motorbike. And a lot of accidents do happen because of cycle rider's faults too. From the same report an another surprising data says(Other objects being cycle, rickshaw, tree and animals),
You can see from above data that (take only first and last row), under other object categories (page 74 of report), out of all the accident happened in 2016. 17,835 accidents happened because of cyclist, rickshaw driver and also because of other objects like tree. A little further drill gives more idea about the reasons for accidents. As per page 91 of the report, more than 50% of total people who had accidents including car bus truck cycle and everything are uneducated. It can be safely assumed that uneducated people are usually less aware of the traffic rules. If you have traveled on road across India , you will realize people in rural area usually don't care to follow traffic rules. Crossing highways in running traffic to riding 3 people on one motorcycle at very high speed without any safety helmet . In such situations, an accident could easily take someone's life. So its not only the infrastructure which is responsible for accidents across India, its also the education about following traffic rules .
So it's not cycle and bad roads which are only responsible for riding in India. There are many factors . But even if we include all the factors in India, still the data shows Cycling is the safest with minimum maintenance way to commute in India. To reduce the accidents and injuries, one can take some precautions and safety measures to make it much safer than any other vehicles and reduce the cycling accidental injuries.
1) Wear helmet :-
if you are riding on heavy traffic roads or highways
2) Always follow traffic rules :-
Does not matter if you are riding a cycle , you still need to follow traffic rules in India as a lot of accidents happen (page 66-67 from report). A lot of accidents happen on traffic lights and signal where people just don't care to wait for few minutes and are in hurry
3) Wear reflective vests :-
these are a great way to stand out from the crowd in traffic. Research has shown that riders wearing reflective jackets not only in dark but curing day time also, keeps riders safe. While riding in dark, reflective jackets are a must. They are simply as important as helmets.
4) Safety Night Lights :-
Riding in dark is really scary in city traffic. But safety night lights make sure that riders are visible from far off, and speeding cars / bikes can stay away from bikes. A paltry sum of 200 bucks can ensure your safety on the road.
If riders take some basic safety precautions, riding a cycle is pretty safe in India. And by far the healthiest.