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Road Accident: FROM HIGHWAY TO HELL

road accident

Reasons For Road Accident

IMAGE COURTESY: GOOGLE IMAGES

Recently, there was yet another road accident that took away the life of a mother, her innocent 13-year-old son and a motorcycle rider, who were standing at a busy junction, waiting for the vehicles ahead of them to move, when a runaway tipper crashed and flipped on top of them.

Spare a thought about the lady’s 10-year-old daughter,who survived  this incident but is critically injured and does not know about her mother and brother? When she was told about the loss, heart wrenching pain was the only thing left with her.

road accident

 

Could this be nature’s way, or like they say, God’s way, of balancing the human population? In such a destructive manner that leaves absolutely no space for feelings and emotions?

Road traffic injuries caused an estimated 1.24 million deaths worldwide in 2010, which according to World Health Organisation is 1 person killed every 25 seconds. Talking about India, in 2013 alone, over 1,37,000 deaths were reported, which is more than the number of people killed in all our wars put together.

While 1,214 road crashes occur every day in India (that translates to one serious road accident every minute), the National Crime Records Bureau together with the Ministry of Road Transport & Highway also shows that 377 people die every day, which is the equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every day. Of these are 16 children who die on Indian roads daily.

And then there is the question of why or how has the value for human life dropped to such a level?

road accident

Blame it on many reasons:

  • Increased volume of vehicles on the roads and hence higher traffic ratios.
  •  The mindless assumption that everybody should have and use their own vehicle, with no thought whatsoever to use public transport or car-pooling.
  • Impatience and the feeling of owning-the-road, so “I drive the way I want” leads to road accident.
  • People’s inability to follow traffic rules, which are also many a times, not enforced.
  • A sense of adrenaline rush, especially among the younger crowd that urges them to just let it go and ride out like bats out of hell, with no care for the general public.
  • Faulty roads, unfinished roadsides and pavements, plus an absence of warning signs or proper indicators which our government needs to take serious care of.
  • The lack or inability of Traffic Police control on road usage, due to outdated systems, short staff or a general feeling of lethargy.
  • The presence of larger vehicles dominating smaller vehicles.
  • Driver fatigue and thus a lack of concentration on the road.
  • Distractions, either on the road or within the vehicle.

road accident

There could be many reasons for why the volume of road accidents have increased over the years, but the bottom line is, that if steps are not made and systems are not firmly placed, many more destructive road accidents will keep happening. Of course, together with this, the general attitude of ‘nothing can happen to me’ needs to change.

road accident

Only 28 countries, representing 449 million people (7% of the world’s population), actually have adequate laws which address all five risk factors (speed, drunk driving, helmets, seat-belts and child restraints). Perhaps if we believe that we are one of these countries, then maybe we should give serious thought to safety aspects related to our road usage.

The Road Safety Week, from January 11th to 17th every year had a lovely tagline last year – “When on the Road, always say Pehle Aap”! Granted, not many people  would consider giving way on a busy road. Imagine if everybody while on the move keep this in mind, our present road scenario would be so much calmer, peaceful and definitely better!

FGG
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