Post covid-19 days and weeks, all the hopes to resume economic activities back to life, looks dim and non vibrant. fear to contract the deadly virus is still fresh and mounting among the people, not caring age, sex, caste, creed, religion, social status differences. The biggest fear of which people cross their fingers, bites their nails, feeling much curious while hooked to electronic boxes, is the pile up of various problems adding to their woes. Road accidents being one of such odd and horrible menace, needing our part to combat it before gets zoomed into catastrophic category.
Roads being an important lifeline and common platform for our traveling life through dawn to dusk. Everybody is a road user in one way or other. Drivers, passengers, pedestrians, street hawkers and beggers begging on roads are the addict users of roads on daily basis. With the increasing population, number of vehicles including private and public has expanded to a large extent during the last decade.
Road congestion is the expected outcome of overcrowding of vehicles across the world. Increase in traffic inflow is unavoidable but the outcome has to be seriously viewed in the context of causing accidents. So, the travel on roads is not safe and sound unless abiding with the norms of road safety laid by road traffic authority in letter and spirit.
Road related accidents are undoubtedly the most frequent and overall the cause of most damage.
The person behind the wheel plays an important role in most of the road accidents. In most cases, road accidents occur either due to carelessness or due to lack of road safety awareness of the road user. In India itself about eighty thousand people are killed in road crashes every year which is 13% of the total fatality all over the world. One can judge the importance of road safety on the basis of national statistical data about total reported accidents.
Most of the road users are quite well aware of the general rules and safety measures while using roads but it is only the laxity on part of road users which cause accidents and crashes. Such accidents are unwanted to happen, still becomes order of the day. Road traffic injuries are a major but neglected global public health problems, needing conservative efforts for effective and sustainable prevention. The future of road safety is uncertain and definitely not the same for all regions of the world. Road traffic safety refers to the methods and measures used to prevent road users for being killed or seriously injuried.
Overspeeding as the biggest factor causing fatal road accidents to happen. Increase in speed multiplies the risk of accident and severity of injury during accident. Often vehicles plying with extreme high speeds finding not enought braking distance, skids a long distance due to law of motion. Rash driving causes error in judgement and finally crashes.
Drunken driving too is unhealthy mode of driving and causes the drivers to lose concentration and hampers vision due to dizziness thereby inciting to take risks causing road accidents.
Hooking up with mobile phones during driving has become a daily norm and vice which acts as a distraction to cause accidents. The other distractions are adjusting mirrors, radio/ stereo while driving. The dangerous red light jumping at road intersections without caring for the light, has become a common sight to watch. Those who violate red light norms are cooking a false conception of stopping at red signal is a wastage of time and fuel. It not only jeopardizes his life but also safety of other road users. They crosses the intersection with greater speed to avoid crash and challan but hampers his ability to judge the ongoing traffic and quite often crashes.
Wearing helmets and seat belts as safety gears could highly reduce the number of casualties during an accident. It has been brought under law as mandatory things, after prooving safety gears reduce severity of injury during accidents.
Road safety has become a part of public health agenda. It is very encouraging that United Nations included road safety in the sustainable development goals laid out in September 2015. At the small scale level, every individual could combat the said disorder by using road in a safe way. It is only through the public that can make measures of road safety to work more on roads rather on papers. A complete driving course under authorised instructor should be done before running wheels on roads.
Road safety measures should be more and more added in the school curriculum so that kids and teens be aware about green cross code that is stop, look, listen, think and then cross.
Overspeeding and jumping red lights be reduced. Drivers while handling distractions should lower the speed for the safety of road users. The bike stunts made by youth for publicity be altogether demotivated and stopped. Road safety awareness through print, social media and other medias be extended to outreach length and breadth of the nation. Let we come and fight together to wipe out the menace of road accidents from our social dictionary.
Syed Tajamul Hussain is a writer, student and can be reached at Syedt[email protected] (This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own.)