More than 1.4 lakh deaths in 2012.
70% accidents due to drunken driving.
A huge increase in fatalities.
Driving in India can be a big nightmare for each of us every day of our lives. There’s every kind of vehicle be it bikes, cars, trucks, buses, rickshaws and what not jostling for space on the road. Oh how can I forget one more thing? There are people crossing the road as well. And not one but thousands of people cross streets, roads and highways of India every second, every minute and every hour. Add to this, the condition of roads which people have to drive on. And you have a recipe for a disaster waiting to happen.
Someone has truly said that if you can drive carefully and safely in India, you can easily drive in any part of the world. Now that’s saying a lot, isn’t it? So how do we ensure that we are safe on the roads in the country whether we are in the drivers seat or crossing the road as a pedestrian? How do we ensure that driving in India is not a nightmare that we have to face day in and day out?
If you are a pedestrian, you need to understand certain things. If you are crossing the road, keep your eyes and ears open to the oncoming traffic. Look on both sides because in India a lot many people have a habit of driving on the wrong side of the road and you may get hit. And in the end, the person may say that its YOUR FAULT since you didn’t look properly.
Some people cannot stay away from their loved ones for even a minute. Therefore they continue talking or Whatsapping them even while crossing the road. Many others are so lost in their world of music, that they ignore the horn of the oncoming vehicle. For people like them, life can only end in one way. A way in which they wouldn’t even get a chance to see their loved ones.
In case there are old family members, kids and others with you, you need to ensure that they are taken proper care of while crossing the road. Kids tend to run around without a care in the world while elders may take quite a bit of time to make that effort to cross the road. And so you need to empathize with their situation and act accordingly.
And finally, last but not the least, don’t run while crossing the road. Try to walk slowly and cross when the signal is RED or when you are sure that there’s no one coming around and you can make the move. Because if you run and then stop and start running again, the driver may not understand your next move.
DON’T cross the road without a care in the world thinking that the drivers would surely stop. If they also DON’T care, then its curtains for you.
If you are a driver, one of the main points which you need to keep in mind is saying NO to DRINKING & DRIVING. Many a time, our friends pressurize us and in peer pressure, we end up doing that just to prove we are sane. But better be safe rather than sorry. You wouldn’t want to end up in hospital or jail for killing anyone, would you?
Respecting speed rules as well as avoid tailgating anyone. There are certain speed limits set at different streets, roads and highways. You need to learn to respect them since they have been set by the concerned authorities with proper knowledge of why they are setting them so. Tailgating can completely irritate the other person in front and honestly doesn’t serve any purpose. Instead, move on the right track and overtake the other person from the right. It’s normally said to avoid overtaking from the left in most cases but in India, many a time a lot of trucks, buses and other vehicles ply on the right most track on highways and you can’t avoid overtaking from the left.
Wear seat-belts in cars and helmets while driving two wheelers. Stop at the red light all the time. If yours is the first car at the red light, start slowly as soon as it becomes green since some cars or people would still be crossing at the last moment from the other side.
And finally, even as a driver, AVOID picking up your phone or Whatsapping while driving. It can wait till you reach your destination. Or if its really urgent, shift the car to the left side of the road and come to a stop. Then use your mobile as much as you want.
It’s not that I have talked about something which people haven’t heard or read about. But the fact is that we refuse to care and worry. As the statistics of death and despair on Indian roads keeps piling up by the second, we need to give this problem the importance it deserves lest we become a part of this statistic.
Therefore, in this aspect, organizations like Nissan deserve kudos for starting initiatives like the Nissan Safety Driving Forum which aims to create awareness about safety in driving across more than 11 cities in India.
Linking to NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month – December) – My post no 11 for this month.