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Road Safety 101

Posted by Royal Sundaram on 18 Jun 2015

Driving is a fun activity that can turn dangerous if not carried out with responsibility. Accidents on the road are becoming increasingly common with leading factors being speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, and distractions. Sometimes, you simply need to check your mirrors and keep your eyes on the road to watch out for other aggressive drivers who might be a threat to your safety. A little bit of precaution can go a long way in avoiding fatalities on the road. In a bid to pave the way to safe streets, safety training should be given to everyone who drives or walks on the road. Here we are sharing some of the most common reasons for road accidents and ways to prevent them.


Distracted Driving: As the use of mobile gadgets has increased, so have the incidents of car crashes. There is simply no excuse to distracted driving. Hence, the use of both handheld and hands-free devices is discouraged while driving as they put you at an equal risk of causing accident. This goes for motorists as well. There are laws in India which ban drivers from using gadgets in vehicles. However, hands-free technology is on the rise and most cars come equipped with it. Ultimately, the choice is yours. Just because you are using a hands-free device, it does not put you in the safety zone as it will still cause distraction to the brain.

Inexperienced Riders and Drivers: Another thing that leads to road accidents is inexperienced drivers and riders. For instance, teenagers who have just started to drive or got themselves a new bike. This is why young drivers are always found to be at a higher risk of causing accidents. The problem with these young riders and drivers is their still-developing mind and impulsive behaviour. When talking about inexperienced drivers in general, the major issue is the tendency to get easily distracted and not identify risky conditions on time. Driving a motor vehicle or riding a bike is very demanding as it puts your cognitive abilities to test, and inexperienced drivers are not completely ready to meet such challenges, thus leading to safety issues. With a strict Driver Licensing system, this can be controlled to a great extent. Anyone behind the wheel should be fully educated about safety measures so they are not a threat to other drivers and pedestrians on the road.

Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is punishable by law. If you think mild drinking does not affect your ability to drive, then think again. A single drink can reduce your reflexes and impair your reaction to things. Not only you get distracted but you may also suffer from blurred vision after consuming alcohol. If, at any point of time, you identify yourself as an at-risk driver, then simply pull over. Just come up with a plan to reach home safe. You will not only save your life, but the lives of many others on the road as well.

While talking about impaired driving, it is necessary to not only discuss the effects of illegal drugs and alcohol but prescription drugs as well. If you are on prescription medicine, talk to your doctor about any possibility of drugs impairing your driving ability. Even over-the-counter drugs for simple conditions like cold and allergies can lead to drowsiness and other side effects, so act responsibly.

Note: The slightest of exertion and stress can turn you into an at-risk driver.

Careless Driving: Speeding can sound exciting but is one of the top risks to road safety. Speeding is reckless, unlawful behaviour that leads to high insurance costs and several deaths every year in India and everywhere around the world. If only people follow speed restriction and drive slow, they can easily lower the probability of crashes and injuries. When you reduce the speed at which you are driving your vehicle, you buy yourself more time to brake or react to unexpected situations on the road. Speed limits have been set for a reason, so be wise and follow them. Careless driving also includes not wearing proper safety gear like helmets and seat belts, and also driving aggressively. Following some simple safety measures can prevent a fatal crash. Never get too close to the vehicle in front of you. Always remember to signal and be aware of the roads you are on. For instance, extra carefulness is required around blind bends and junctions.

In a Nutshell

Once people are fully aware of the risks while driving and the safety management techniques that can be used to avoid these risks, we can work towards building road safety. People who have a problem of substance abuse or are on prescription drugs need special help. There are organisations that provide training programs to drivers to raise awareness about safe driving. So apply basic safety principles in your life. Take a pledge to always wear a seatbelt and shun the use of cell phone while driving. If you ride a bike, you are bounded to same duties and responsibilities as any motor vehicle driver, so wear a helmet and ride only when sober.

Recapping the Story

Long story short, here is what you can do to practice safe driving and riding:

•  Drive only when sober and well-rested
•  Keep distractions to a minimum, increase reaction time
•  Buckle up your seat belt/ wear a protective helmet
•  Take additional caution on country roads and during bad weather
•  Look out for careless drivers or unexpected turns and stops
•  Learn defensive driving and do not speed
•  Maintain your vehicle and go for regular repairs to avoid safety threats

In addition to this, the knowledge that your car is not invulnerable to damage caused by any unforeseen event is important. Therefore, in this case, it is prudent to secure your car with a comprehensive car insurance plan and your co-passengers with personal accident insurance.

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