Life is precious. It is in our hands to save it or lose it. Road accidents are the most unwanted thing to happen to a road user, though it happens quite often.
The most unfortunate thing is that we don’t learn from our mistakes on the road. The main causes of accidents and crashes are due to human errors.
The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways spoke in Nagpur at a Road Safety Week function, which began across the country and culminated on 17 January, 2019.
“Five lakh accidents take place in the country every year and around 1.5 lakh people are killed, and between 2.5-3 lakh people are injured. The GDP loss to the country is two per cent. Besides, 62% of those killed in road accidents are in the 18-35 age group,” Mr. Gadkari said.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari expressed remorse that his Ministry could not reduce these numbers despite taking several measures.
The minister expressed grief that his ministry could not reduce these numbers despite taking several measures.
Causes of road accidents
- Over speeding
It is important to stay ahead, but not so much that you die. Most accidents are caused by high speed. Why people don’t understand that a little hurry can bring a great loss in their lives.
2. Drunken driving
Drunk driving is also a major cause of accidents. Why do people not understand how they can drive a vehicle while they cannot even stand upright after drinking alcohol.
3. Distraction to drive
Distraction could be outside or inside the vehicle. The major distraction nowadays is talking on a mobile phone while driving. Adjusting mirror while driving, stereo in-vehicles, animals on the road, and banners and billboards. The drivers should reduce speed to remain safe during diversion and other kinds of outside distractions.
4. Red light jumping
The main motive behind red light jumping is saving time. A red light jumper not only jeopardizes his life but also the safety of other road users.
5. Avoiding safety gears like seat belts and helmets
The use of seat belts in four-wheelers is now compulsory and not wearing seat belts invites penalty. Same is the case of helmets for two-wheeler drivers.
Non-adherence to lane driving and overtaking in a wrong manner. Rash driving, failure to understand signs, fatigue, pedestrian’s carelessness, crossing at wrong places, failure of brakes or steering, tire burst, overloading, damaged road, bad weather are some other causes of road accidents.
Injury and deaths due to road traffic accidents are a major public health problem in developing countries.
The data for fatal accidents presented to the Parliament by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway for the year 2008 show that 119,860 people perished in mishaps that year. Deaths due to road accidents in 2009 were reported to be 126,896 and in 2010 it increased to 133,938 which is about 5.5% over the previous years’ deaths.
Road deaths and injuries are preventable. So, some steps are taken by the government to prevent road accidents.
Drivers can significantly contribute to reducing accidents. The issuing of the driving license should be strictly based on the minimum proficiency acquired by the learners from designated driving schools. Minimum qualifications should be fixed for different categories of drivers. All drivers should be properly trained and know the traffic rules. Rules for compulsory wearing of helmets by two-wheelers and seat belts by four-wheelers must be implemented. Removal of stray animals from footpath and road margins will enable a smooth flow of traffic.
Despite the steps taken by the government, people do not want to understand road rules. Parents buy bikes for children under 18 years of age. Children of this age are not aware of traffic rules and do not drive properly. Such drivers commit their lives to death and also endanger the lives of others. Some people don’t like wearing helmets and seat belts. Sometimes they would even mess with the traffic police. People should obey traffic rules rather than deliberately jumping into flames.
We should adopt a “zero tolerance” policy towards the most common transgressions – dangerous and reckless driving, disregard for traffic rules, jumping red light, driving under the influence of liquor, failing to use seat belts, and driving without a helmet may bring about a visible change.
Safety starts with “S” (self) and ends with “Y” (you).