India is a country where people are happier to buy an expensive mobile cover for themselves rather than buying a helmet for their protection while driving a two-wheeler. One will save your mobile phone from breaking and one will save your life in case of an accident. And it seems that people of India have their priorities set straight, for us a mobile phone is more precious than our lives.
The very name of an accident is fearsome. Not a single day passes without news being printed about road accidents. It has come to a point where road accidents now feel like just another statistics. 5 people died in the road accident, several injured; numbers, which people only listen, see and then forget. Of all the things which we neglect, road safety tops it all of. Nowhere in the world road are safety rules taken for granted as much as they are in India.
The harsh reality of the matter is that far too long we have been blaming the government for poor conditions of roads, potholes, traffic etc. while avoiding to take the responsibility for road safety ourselves. Even after hearing about those accidents we do not stop from driving at high speeds, ignoring traffic rules, and what not. Road Safety is something which will only come when all the persons driving or walking on the road follow the rules because a mistake from a single person could cost several lives.
Given below are some points which would put the damage caused by road accidents into perspective:
- . Over 1,57,000 people were killed in road accidents in 2016 alone, that is more than the number of people killed in all our wars put together.
- . There is one death every four minute due to the road accident in India.
- . 5 lives end on Delhi’s road daily. Making it one of the world’s most dangerous city to drive in.
- . 1214 road crashes occur every day in India.
- . 377 people die every day, equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every day.
- . 20 children under the age of 14 die every day due to road crashes in the country.
The above-mentioned points are some hard hitting numbers about road accidents in India. And for once, please don’t only take it as mere statistics, consider it as a wakeup call or someday you might not be reading these statistics but would be a part of it.
Even though drunken driving is the leading cause of road accidents in India, I believe the leading cause of road accidents is people’s ignorance. Ask yourself, how many times have you broke a traffic rule? How many times have you jumped a signal? Even after hundreds of initiative by the government about road safety, we don’t change. The overriding message? It’s not your car or the “road conditions” that are most likely to kill you. It’s your own driving. People are more often ‘careless, reckless or in a hurry’, or ‘travelling too fast for conditions’.
A road safety experts add to the above point by saying, “Drivers can learn a lot by reading this and if you take just one thing away from it, it’s that paying a little more attention, taking that little bit more time to look properly, will save your life. Mostly, crashes aren’t about cars going dramatically out of control and up in smoke. It’s small errors suddenly having greater consequences. But if you are a good, trained driver, you can avoid becoming a statistic. And you’ll get to that appointment on time, too.”
How disturbing is the fact that just to save a few minutes at times a few seconds at a red light or otherwise people end up in accidents. Saving a few seconds leads to claiming someone else’s entire life and sometimes washing hands with your own. Imagine the plight of a mother who loses her kid in a school bus accident caused by a negligent driver. Imagine what an accident means to a child who lost his father to one while his father was coming back home. It is absurd how a few seconds have become more important than human lives and the necessary caution. The thrills of speed have never suited anyone. To every life lost in an accident, a family loses its everything. Those left behind can only cry wrapping the one gone because a few minutes or seconds were more important than his or her life.
Imagine how those parents would feel who gifted a Mercedes to the son for his birthday and he died the same day as he lost his senses to the thrills of speeds or effects of alcohol. Who could be bigger culprits than they themselves for such parents? Whatever be the reason behind an accident but the very name of an accident is dreadful and makes the heart sink. The trauma is much more than just physical and is not just inflicted on the one who met with it but his or her entire family that was waiting with elation for them to come back home. A picture with a garland can never make up for the one who went away. It only makes sense to spare a thought about those who are waiting for you back home before you act stupid on the road.
Each of us has to play our part if want safer roads. Drive safe, save a life.