On Road, Safety Begins With Me

News of road accidents are served at a daily basis on every Indian newspaper. It’s really hard to mark a day without a single such news. It is estimated that more than 1.5 million road accidents occur every year in India and the number is increasing day by day. Many times accidents are neither reported nor are investigated properly making the scenario even worse. Road accidents, which snuff out the life of millions, are never acknowledged as a national problem and seldom effective measures are taken to prevent them. As their is lack of investigation, the real causes of accidents remain unknown and most of the times, in cases of vehicle to vehicle collision, the larger ones are accused. To take remedial measures it’s important to know the reasons and patterns of the accidents which are, however, neglected. Nissan Safety Driving Forum (NSDF) is doing their bit to grow an awareness about safe driving in different cities of India through interactive activities. Taking cue from their initiative let’s discuss some points which, according to me, should be remembered and implemented for road safety.

In most cases children are the worst victims of road accidents. It’s important to teach children the proper way of crossing roads and other basic traffic etiquette. Every parent and school should consider it as an important issue because children are the future citizens. They should also learn usage of seat-belts and never be encouraged to sit on the front seat. Back seat is always safer for them. Small gestures practiced since childhood hopefully would make them better and responsible citizens.

The age group of 18-30 is prone to accidents more than any other. Reckless driving, speeding up unnecessarily and irresponsible attitude are the main reasons. The open economy policy of the country has given rise to a number of facilities and owning a car is not a big deal now. Overcrowding of roads is the subsequent consequence. Often in road accidents vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists) are victimized. To put a check on this, the minimum age of acquiring a driving licence should be 21 and the test should be more rigid and rigorous. Laws should be stricter on using seat-belts and anyone without it must be heavily fined. A check on speed limit must be there especially on highways.

In a country with a huge two-wheeler population, the implementation of helmet law should be more strict. Most of the motorcyclists don’t care to use helmets and even are seen to carry more than two persons.

Frequent roadshows and programs must be arranged to improve the sense and importance of safety among masses. I remember an incident during my Sikkim trip a few years ago. Sikkim is a hilly area and there are steep turns and hair-pin bends all over. The drivers and passengers need to be extra careful all the time. At an important traffic point the Sikkim road authority exhibited skeleton of a car which was the victim of an accident. The very scene was spine-chilling and the commuters were becoming extra cautious knowingly or unknowingly. Such was the effect of that visual! What I’m trying to say is that visual effects last longer than mere preaching. Instilling the awareness of safety is of utmost importance and we all should understand that SAFETY BEGINS WITH ME.

Mobile phones are integral part of our life nowadays. But this can be fatal while you’re driving. Our calls can wait, and nothing is more precious than our own lives. Use of car-stereo at a deafening volume is similarly dangerous. But in both the cases, the consciousness must come from within. Safety is essential for us as well as for our families and we must understand that. An accident breaks apart a family. Keep this in mind while you’re driving.

Drunken driving is a rising problem in our country. As discussed earlier, with the advancement of economy, social norms have changed and drinking is no longer a taboo. Often youngsters take it as fun to drink while driving and the consequence is lethal. Proper law should be there to prevent such activities. Though there is well-defined norms for alcohol content in blood for drivers, detection of violation is rare. Mobile checking should be implemented especially during night.

 All said and discussed, it is true that many a time conditions of our roads are responsible for accidents. With potholes here and there and street lights not working, it is a nightmare to drive on Indian roads, even on highways. Public Welfare Department should be more active and supervise the conditions of roads throughout the year. During monsoon, the condition becomes worse as the muddy, bumpy roads increase the risk. There should be footpaths for pedestrians and speed checkers at every crucial point. It is also necessary that road-signs and boards are posted at regular intervals clearly stating the condition of the road ahead. As our country has more than 20 officially recognized languages, so those road signs should be written not only in English but also in Hindi and in the regional language. If the conditions of the roads are improved, it would be highly effective to bring down the number of road accidents.

Street Lights Not Working

Street Lights Not Working

A large number of people die every year in our country due to road accidents. To increase general awareness of road safety laws and persuade the public to abide by them, the government should promote various awareness programs along with rigorous enforcement of laws. Every 3 minutes death swoops in our roads. Only WE ourselves can change the condition. Death is not the price we should pay for our easy mobility. The awareness must come from us, from you and me. Millions of lives can be saved by enhancing the safety of roads and vehicles and by improving the behaviour of the road users. It’s time to change our mind-set towards this alarming killer. Accidents, can be prevented if we all become a little more cautious, because, prevention is always better than cure. Let’s join hands with Nissan Safety Driving Forum to bring in that awareness among us about road safety. Nissan is there to support reducing fatalities and injuries caused by road accidents, and NSDF is committed in contributing to a young, vibrant and mobile India. To know more, please visit their website by clicking Here.

This post is written as an entry for the contest organized by Nissan Safety Driving Forum in association with Indiblogger

20 responses to “On Road, Safety Begins With Me

  1. Unfortunately, we have the same problems here in the US. So many are injured or killed in car accidents. It helped when speed limits were lowered, but so many fought to have them raised back up and back up they went.😦

  2. Here in the USA. Cars kill many. I believe in my state. 80 people killed in car accidents. Large areas are very dangerous. In the new world. Everyone want to drive. Making life and the roads very dangerous for the kids. I enjoyed your thoughts. I would take the bus if I could.

    • You’re right, the scenario is more or less same everywhere😦 Tragic accidents often break families apart and its especially dangerous for kids and older people…

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this topic…..much appreciated🙂

  3. Yes, it is very important…road safety in India is a neglected thing. Needs lot of awareness to be built and especially so dangerous for children and old age people to cross the roads…

    Excellent post and we need more such thoughts to be shared. Same time we have to have stringent law to punish the offenders and repeat offenders need to be penalized heavily…

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