“Accidents, and particularly street and highway accidents, do not happen – they are caused.” -Ernest GreenwoodI. Information about Road safety
“We now have unshakable conviction that accident causes are man-made and that a manmade problem can be solved by men and women.”-W.H. Cameron
India is the second largest road network in the world aggregating to about 3 million km of which only 60% are paved. These roads make remarkable contribution to the Indian economy. Simultaneously these roads lead to high toll of death victims. In recent times there is a growing concern over the road accident issues. Road safety is an emerging issue of the country now. As per the survey of WHO, every year, road traffic injuries take away lives of nearly 1.2 million men, women and children across the globe. One child is killed in road accidents, every three minutes in the world. A recent survey on road accidents reveals that the annual worldwide death toll of road accidents is more than five times the Tsunami toll. The death toll is high in the countries where pedestrians, motorcyclist and passengers are vulnerable and vehicles lack the safety norms like India. Most of the foreign automobile companies are launching their vehicles in Indian market with Indian safety protocols which is causing a lot of disruptions on Indian roads.
II. Road accidents statistics
Road accidents statistics at a glance:
• 85% of all road accidents occur in Asia pacific region.
• India occupies second place with 10% of total road accidents in world.
• Nearly 1,275,000 persons are injured in road accident.
• Social cost of accidents is estimated at $11,000.
• Most of the accidents are occurring due to lack of professional drivers and positive driving culture.
III. Required documents for driving on roads
As per Automotive India, below Road Safety Rules and documents are required before driving on roads. Before driving on roads, please make sure that you keep along the below mentioned important documents always.
• Driving License
• Certificate of Registration
• Certificate of Insurance
• Pollution Check Certificate
IV. Do’s and Don’ts for Four Wheelers
• Always wear seat belts & ask co-passenger to do same
• Always use child seats for children under 4 years of age
• Allow pedestrians to cross the roads first
• Allow the emergency vehicles to pass
• Use indicators & rear view mirrors when changing lanes
• Slow down while approaching an intersection
• Always maintain appropriate distance from the vehicle in front
• Always drive in your lane
• Never jump any red light
• Never drink & drive
• Never use mobile phones when driving
• Never drive more than 60kph in city
• Never drive if you’re below age of 18
• Never park on busy roads
• Never apply brakes suddenly
V. Do’s and Don’ts for Two Wheelers
• Always wear a full mask good quality helmet & fasten it tightly
• Always check the inflation of both front and rear tires
• Always ensure the front and rear lights are functional
• Always give proper indications before turning
• Always use front and rear brakes simultaneously
• Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead
• Never drive in a zigzag manner
• Never overtake from the blind corners of a vehicle or from the left side
• Never apply brakes suddenly
• Never carry heavy loads or more than one person
• Never use cell phone while driving
VI. Purpose of Road Marking
Following Road Markings denote the below things:
• Center Line:
The white colored line divides the road into two, separating opposing stream of traffic.
• Win White/Yellow Lines:
These lines divide the road into two and crossing them from either side is strictly prohibited.
• Small Broken White Lines:
They separate the lanes on a road, Vehicles are supposed to move in between these lines and generally left most lane is allotted to HMVs.
• Single Yellow Line:
You cannot cross this line except while turning Right or taking a U-Turn.
• Zebra Crossing:
Alternate black and white stripes are painted for pedestrians to cross the road when the signals indicate so. The vehicles must stop and give way to pedestrians at such crossings.
VII. Preventive measures to eliminate the road accidents
Below preventive measures are useful to eliminate accidents:
• The most important thing to bring down the accidents is strict enforcement of speed limits. 90% of accidents can be avoided by strict enforcement of speed limits
• Existing speed limits should be brought down further
• The government should impose heavy penalty for those who cross the speed limits
• Tamper proof speed controllers should be made mandatory for all heavy vehicles. New heavy vehicles also should have built in tamper proof speed controllers
• Two wheeler designers are asked to design vehicles with a harmless maximum speed
• New Gadgets are to be developed for collision prevention fitted for all the vehicles
• Driving tests for issue of driving license is to be made more stringent and foolproof
• Rising of lower age limit for two wheeler and heavy vehicle license to 21 years
• Helmet should me made compulsory by law in all states or impose a lower speed limit for those who do not use helmet
• Ensuring that all helmet users are fixing the chain strap of helmet to reduce the impact of the accident
• Ensure that only good quality helmets are available in the market
• People who ignore the safe distance limits should be punished
• Imparting safety awareness from the childhood itself
• Video and computer games should be banned by Government or discouraged by parents as it develops racing habit in children
• Children below certain age should not be permitted to do cycling in busy roads where heavy vehicles move
• Road safety rules should be displayed on junctions and other parts of the road
• Road safety awareness through communication channels
• Speed should be restricted at accident prone areas
• Roads should be properly maintained and arrangements should take place for maintaining all roads in good condition 24 hours a day
• Driving while drinking should be banned
• Road widening and straightening programs should take place
• Zebra crossings should be provided for pedestrians for safe road crossings
• Proper sign boards should be installed on the roads
• Road safety day and road safety week should be celebrated in schools and colleges to increase awareness on the same
• Accident statistics should be periodically reviewed to understand the effect of action taken.