An equally important objective of the society is to create awareness about road-safety and educate the young children the importance of respecting and following traffic rules.
Travelling on Punjab roads is a rendezvous with death. On an average, nine persons die every day in accidents on the state’s roads and the number of deaths is alarmingly increasing every year. While 3317 persons were killed during 2013-14, the number stood at 3538 during 2014-15. Rash and careless driving, increased vehicular traffic and lack of awareness about the traffic rules remain the major contributors to these accidents.
Let’s make our roads less deadly and let our children reach home safe!
State/UT–wise severity of road accidents in India
|1||Ischaemic heart disease||12.2 %|
|2||Cerebrovascular disease||9.7 %|
|3||Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease||7 %|
|4||Lower respiratory infections||5.1 %|
|5||Road traffic injuries||3.6 %|
|6||Trachea, bronchus, lung cancers||3.5 %|
|7||Diabetes mellitus||2.5 %|
|8||Hypertensive heart disease||2.3 %|
|9||Stomach cancer||2.2 %|
Speeding and tailgating – A greater speed surely gives a feeling of rush to the driver but at the same time increases the risk of his vehicle hitting another vehicle. Driving habits such as tailgating only augments the chance of the tailgater colliding with the vehicle in front. Talking on phone – When you talk on a phone while driving, your one hand gets engaged in operating the phone whether it's dialing a number or listening to the caller. Even more alarming is texting on phone while driving, as it not only takes off your hands of the steering wheel but also your eyes off the road. Moreover, the conversation distracts your mind. Always avoid using a phone while driving. Drunk driving – Alcohol interferes with the very basic elements of driving such as vision, reflex and sense of judgment. It is always advisable to request one of your friends or acquaintances to drop you to your place, when you feel you are too drunk. Riding without a helmet – Wearing a helmet is important for the biker. Head is most susceptible to injuries during a fall. Protecting it with a helmet substantially reduces the chances of fatality. Not wearing seat belt – Putting a seat belt while driving is very important. It has been scientifically proven that during a head to head collision, a driver wearing a seat belt has a far better chance to survive, without having to suffer any major injury. Breaking traffic rules – Something as simple as breaking a red light can put the driver and others vulnerable to serious falls and injuries. Ignorance of road signs can prove to be a breakneck too. Do follow traffic rules, it's for your own good. Poor road infrastructure – This is a very common cause of accidents in India. Unlike other factors, the driver here has to suffer without a fault of his own. A bad road is distinguished by signs such as piles of debris, spilled oil, pits and defective highway lamps. Driving in fog – Fog reduces the road visibility to a fatal extent. In case of a dense fog, consider putting a halt to your trip. But if it's an official or emergency trip, do remember to use the fog lights and dippers.
The analysis of road accidents in terms of causal factors reveals that drivers’ fault is single most important factor responsible for accidents, followed by fault of drivers of other vehicles, defects in motor vehicles, defect in road conditions and faults of pedestrians. Drivers’ fault accounted for 77.1 per cent of total road accidents, 72.6 per cent of the total number of persons killed and 80.3 per cent of the total number of persons injured in road accidents during 2015.
Drive according to road conditions. Drive slower when the weather is bad. Road surfaces deteriorate in rain, ice or snow. The ability to stop quickly greatly reduces when the roads are not dry. Keep your vehicle in good mechanical order. Replace worn tires and brakes as needed. Keep windshield washer fluid full and change out windshield wipers on a regular basis. Wear your seatbelt. Not only do seatbelts keep you safe in an accident, it will help you avoid accidents as well. Seatbelts will hold you in place during an aggressive maneuver. If you make an abrupt maneuver, you may find yourself thrown to the passenger side of the vehicle. Avoid other vehicles. Back off and don’t tailgate or allow others to tailgate you. Try to avoid driving next to another vehicle in case it has to swerve to avoid an animal or debris that may be in the road. Watch out at intersections as many accidents happen here. Always slow down and look both ways at intersections. Don’t assume the other vehicles will stop just because the light is red. There is always someone trying to get through the intersection during a yellow light. Stay away from 18-wheelers. These large tractor trailer rigs require extra space when making wide right turns. Therefore, avoid the right side of one, especially if you think the driver will turn right. Don’t drive behind an 18-wheeler on the highway. A blown tire can cause an accident. Turn your head to check for traffic before changing lanes. Do not rely on your mirrors when making a lane change. All vehicles have “blind spots” in which your mirrors cannot see. Do not ride in the blind spots of other vehicles. Look extra carefully in parking lots or parking areas. Many fender-benders happen in these areas. Follow the rules set up in parking areas. These rules are for the safety of all drivers. Slow down. Obey the speed limit even if every other car is surpassing it. Let others pass you. Defensive driving means letting others go ahead-not defending your position in traffic. Avoid the urge to be a vigilante. Accept the fact that someone is always going to think they’re in more of a hurry than you. These are the drivers you want to move far away from, not to teach them a lesson. Try to avoid driving in bad weather. Always keep your windshield wipers going in the rain or snow. Defrost your windshield to keep it from fogging up. Turn on your headlights to help others to see you–this is also the law in some states. If possible, try to avoid driving in the snow at all, especially if your car is rear wheel drive. If you must go out in the snow, drive extra slow, use the brakes and gas pedal gently, and maintain an increased stopping distance. Never get into a car with a drunk driver. It is always best to have a “designated driver”. Never drive after you have had alcoholic beverages. Even one beer can alter your ability to drive safely. Wear a seatbelt. This is a must. By law in many countries, all cars must have a safety restraint. Buckling up only takes a second and can save your life in an accident. Children should always be in a booster seat or car seat until they are tall enough and heavy enough to sit by themselves. This generally includes children age eight and under. Never put a child in a car or booster seat in the front passenger seat or other seat with airbags. Children should generally be 12 and older when sitting in the front passenger seat. Keep your car and its accessories in good condition. Keep the tires properly inflated, the brakes adjusted, and the windshields and windows clean. Replace windshield wiper blades when they begin to streak, and all make sure all the lights are working properly. Use your signals properly. Always use your signal, even if you think no one is there. When changing lanes on the freeway, don’t signal as an afterthought or during the lane change. Signal at least a couple of seconds in advance so others know what you’re going to do before you do it. Don’t tailgate. No matter how slowly traffic is moving, keep at least two seconds of following distance between you and the car ahead. Any less and you won’t be able to stop in time if the driver ahead slams on the brakes. Keep your eyes moving. Don’t get in the habit of staring at the back of the car ahead of you. Periodically shift your eyes to the side-view mirrors, the rear-view mirror, and ahead to where you’ll be in 10-15 seconds. Doing this, you can spot a potentially dangerous situation before it happens.