India loses 1 life every 4 minutes in a road accident. Factors responsible include- bad road conditions, improper road engineering, poor traffic sense, irresponsible driving, lack of awareness of traffic rules, absence of strict laws for offenders. Many factors rest with the government/ civic bodies, but an important modifiable factor – driver of vehicle – plays most important role in accident prevention. Respecting traffic rules and patience while driving should be introduced in school curriculum.
Training of driver includes not only education of driving on road, but practical lessons. Proper training with prolong hours of supervision under experienced driver has shown to be effective in preventing accidents. Driver should be aware of the conditions of one’s vehicle– conditions of tyres, alignment of wheels, headlights, indicators, brakes etc. Bikers should be encouraged to wear helmets and cab drivers should apply seat belts. On wet roads, foggy conditions one should drive slow.
With advent of cellular and bluetooth technology attending phone calls while driving is common. Research shows that while using hands free/ mobile when driving, the reaction time of brain to sudden change in scenario gets delayed by 1/3rd of time it would otherwise take. Hence mobile calls should be avoided while driving.
On highways, there has been increase in pile up of vehicles. This primarily occurs due to over speeding and lack of maintaining adequate distance between vehicles. Hence one should be trained to maintained good distance while following any vehicle ahead.
Someone jumping lanes and driving rashly should not compel others to follow him. Rather others should get into defensive driving to let these characters get away from their safety zone. Drunken driving should be discouraged at every step and strict laws, punishments should be given to offenders. Breaking traffic signals, parking in wrong lane, overtaking from wrong side, consuming alcohol/ drugs while driving etc should be dealt with through a multiprong approach- education, strict laws for deterrence, incentives for compliance in following traffic rules. Better road conditions and engineering can help if the human behind the wheels is trained well and understands the responsibility and necessity of safe driving.
If you or your loved one meets with an accident, it is important that you first perform the necessary first aid and later contact the nearest hospital for an ambulance. For future need you can save the emergency number of Paras Hospitals, Patna – 0612-710 7777.