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Posted by Royal Sundaram on 18 Jun 2015
Check out these astounding facts:
The frequency of road accidents in India is 1 in every 60 seconds. These mishaps take a life every 4 minutes (precisely every 3.7 minutes) and approximately 377 people die due to such accidents on a daily basis. Delhi and Chennai top the list for cities with the highest number of road crash deaths; closely followed by Jaipur, Bengaluru and Mumbai. A very sad fact is that over 20 children (under the age of 14) die every day due to road accidents.
Over 51.9 % of the accident victims are aged between 25 and 65; and 30.3% of the victims are in the age group of 15 to 24.
So, are streets no longer safe for children? Are the highways becoming unsafe for our loved ones?
Top Causes of Road Accidents
The report published by National Crime Records Bureau stated that India tops the list of countries with the worst road traffic accident rates across the globe. According to the Global status report on road safety, released by the World Health Organisation, the major causes for road crashes are:
- Drunken driving
- Jumping traffic signals
- Not using helmets and seatbelts
- Overtaking on the wrong-side
Precautions and Safety Measures against Road Accidents for Drivers
1. Speed Kills: While you might be comfortable driving at a high speed, it is difficult to gain full control of your vehicle at such speeds. There are certain speed limits that you must follow, so make sure to adhere to them. While driving at a higher speed or on a highway, do not overtake. Also, be cautions while there is low visibility due to fog or when there are wet roads due to rains. Make sure that you always drive slowly in the vicinity of a school or a hospital.
Speed limits in India vary by state and vehicle type. For Motor Cycle the speed limit ranges from 30-70 km/h, Light Motor Vehicles(cars) the limit ranges from 40-90 km/h, for Medium Passenger/Goods Vehicles the limit ranges from 40-65 km/h and for Heavy Vehicles the limit ranges from 20-65 km/h.
2. Road Rules and Signs: Road rules have been formulated for your safety and caution signs have been put up for your benefit. Here are some other points to keep in mind:
- It is important to follow the road rules, so that traffic is not hindered and major accidents can be avoided. It is equally important to maintain appropriate distance between vehicles. This reduces the incidence of collisions in the event that the vehicle in front of you comes to a sudden stop.
- Respect the use of indicators before taking a turn. Follow the signals, and never skip a red signal, unless intimated to do so by the traffic police. However, irrespective of the signals, give importance to crossing pedestrians, children and ambulances, while you are driving.
- Follow the road signs (caution signs) as well; they have been designed so that you can exercise prudence while driving. For instance, take a U-turn at the designated spot. Signs also give you information regarding speed-bumps, high traffic areas, school zones and speed limits. Keep a look out for them.
3. Quit Alcohol and Cell Phones: Drunk drivers are prone to accidents since alcohol can slow down your reflexes and cause serious gaps in judgement. Assign a dedicated driver, or call a cab, if necessary. If you do not think you are mentally alert (even without influence), avoid driving. Do not talk or text using a mobile phone while you are behind the wheel. Even a five second lapse in attention can cause a serious accident.
4. Safety Measure: Below are the Safety measures you should follow:
- Use of seat belts; they are designed to ensure that internal and external body injuries are minimised in the event of a collision. They restrict movement, especially reducing the incidence of head injuries. Air bags for the driver and passenger are important too.
- Never let a child ride along in the front seat of the car. Make sure that they are secured with a seatbelt in the back seat. Consider using car seats for infants. While the government has not enforced such rules in India, as a responsible parent or guardian, it is your duty to keep them safe.
- Always ensure that both the pillion rider and the bike rider wear a helmet. Cyclists, especially children, must wear protective head gear as well. This will minimise injuries to the skull and head.
- Install ABS (antiskid braking system) in your car to reduce the incidence of skidding. Also, ensure that the tyres in your vehicle are not worn-out. The minimum life-span of a car tyre is said to be 2 to 5 years (average run of 45,000 kilometres).
- Many do not realise the importance of reflectors at the rear of a vehicle (including bicycles).
- Ensure that your vehicle is in proper working condition. Make sure to install parking lights as well as security alarms.
Precautions and Safety Measures for Pedestrians
As a pedestrian, it is important to be vigilant. If you are walking with a child, ensure that you always hold their hand, to prevent them from tripping and falling, or even running on the road. Here are a few other safety measures…
- It is important that the drivers can see you, especially after the sunset. Avoid wearing dark colours at night, wear bright or reflective colours so that you are clearly visible on the road. This prevents collisions and hit and run accidents. Also, in a country like India, where the streets are not always well lit, consider carrying a torch and make sure to cross at a well lit spot. Stand away from stationary vehicles while crossing, so that the on-coming traffic is able to see you.
- Avoid crossing the road at under-passes and over bridges. Use the dedicated subways/walk-over bridges.
- It is important to walk on the pavement. If such pavements are not available, make sure to walk on the right side of the road (beyond the white margin), so that you are facing the flow of traffic. While walking with children, hold their hands and ensure that you come between them and the flowing traffic.
- Wait for the pedestrian signals while crossing. If there are no signals, look well before you cross. Also watch out for turning vehicles.
- Look at the road while walking; do not be too engrossed in a conversation (with a companion) or on your mobile phone. Lower the sound of your headphones, so that you are aware of traffic noises.
- Parking lights and security alarms have been installed in vehicles for your benefit as well. Be aware of these signals when walking near parking lots and other parking spaces on the road.
While you can take such precautions to stay safe, also consider a personal accident policy. It will cover injuries, disability (partial or permanent) and death, caused due to accidental events. The policy gives you an assurance in the event of any accident that might incapacitate you or an insured family member. Our Personal Accident Insurance Policy offers global cover of up to Rs. 75 Lakhs. Avail our policy for just Rs. 2 Per Day!
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