Some years ago, T, a 20-something-son of a family friend met with an accident. He was driving his bike when a van hit him. The van driver fled from the scene leaving him bleeding and in intense pain on the road. His head had hit the pavement and he died on his way to the hospital. They say that the bystanders took a long time to take any action. The doctors said that if medical assistance was provided to him a bit earlier, he would have survived and a helmet would have prevented the fatal injuries too. T’s mother took his death to heart and died eight months later. T’s father lives alone and is a sort of recluse.
One accident changed the life and fate of a family!
The World Health Organization in its first ever Global Status Report on Road Safety revealed that more people die in road accidents in India than anywhere else in the world. At least 13 people die every hour in road accidents in the country. According to the Road Transport ministry report, a total of 4.97 lakh road accident was reported in 2011. A majority of road accident victims – 51.9 % – are in the 25-65 age group followed by 30.3% in the 15-24 age group.
And they say 80% of road accidents are due to human error! 80% – human error… that’s huge!!
I believe, making our roads safe not only for us but also for motorists and pedestrians is in our hands. Here are are some of the steps that we must follow which incidentally are the road signs by the Border Road Organization that we came across on our road journey from Srinagar to Leh, to make our roads safe:
- Do not be rash and end in crash: Drive like hell, and you ‘ll be there. Speed thrills but it kills, after all it’s a highway and not a runway.
- Drive on horse power and not rum power. Drinking and driving should never be mixed.
- Short cuts may cut short your life : Avoid overtaking from wrong side. Life is short, but don’t make it shorter, because a slip and there might be a hospital trip. Be Mr. Late but not Late Mr.
- Make road sense as your common sense. Like seat belts and helmets are life saving. And that high beam and low beam lights in a vehicle have a reason and specific purpose. Use them wisely. Use indicators timely!
- Lane driving is safe driving : In fact, lane driving should be mandatory especially on highways and expressways.
- Peep-Peep, Don’t Sleep. Always Alert, Avoids Accidents. Driving with care, make accidents rare.
- Be a good Samaritan : What goes around, comes around. So help those in need and in distress.
- Safety on road=safe tea at home. Safety on roads should become a habit. As safety is simple, accidents are not.
The key to road safety is in our hands. Each one us should respect and know traffic regulations and signs and follow them religiously. Each one of us should have a responsible attitude on the road and avoid road accidents and their serious consequences.
Road safety is a state of mind, while accident is an absence of mind. Since, life does not comes with a ‘reset’ button, drive safe, always! And there should be no place for ‘If only…’ on roads.