Road Safety - How to Prevent Accidents
It is better to be safe than to be sorry. Prevent accidents by taking all the precautions you can.
- As they say speed thrills and also kills. Keep a rein on your speed, so that one is in better control of the vehicle. Find out what causes you to speed up? Is there an urge to speed when you have a driver close behind? Or, is it an effort to keep up with the traffic flow. Or, do you simply enjoy over-taking? It is especially important to lower speed while nearing schools, on narrow roads, hilly areas, rural areas and when visibility is poor. Wet roads and speed is a perfect recipe for an accident.
- Obey traffic rules. Traffic rules have been designed with safety foremost in mind. It takes into account safety for all, including pedestrians. Follow the lane, and keep the required distance between vehicles. It is important to display appropriate indications/signals especially while changing lanes or before a turn. Respect for other drivers on the road is sacrosanct to road safety.
- Wear seat belts. Seat belts are life saving. A statistic has revealed that 63% of those who died in accidents had not strapped on their seat belts. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), lap-shoulder belt systems cut the risk of serious injury and fatality by 50 percent. Seat belts help in protecting the internal organs in a crash as it restrains the forward movement of the body to a great extent. It protects against head and neck injuries by minimizing head contacts and keeps the passenger in place.
- Pedestrians and children come first – Preference is to be given to pedestrians and children crossing the road.
- Read caution signs: Caution signs are very important as they warn about accident prone spots so that the driver can reduce the speed of the vehicle. Signboards on the road are vital clues about road design so that the person behind the wheel can exercise caution.
- Adopt antiskid break systems in the cars, so that the risk of cars skidding can be reduced.
- Air bags in vehicles are a must to cushion the impact in case of accidents.
- Reflectors to be used on the rear of the vehicle. Ensure all lamps are in working condition. Hazard lamp should be switched on when the vehicle is parked on a highway.
- Vehicle must be in good working condition- there should be no compromise on the quality of brakes and tyres. Further, it is imperative to inflate tyres with the right air pressure to avoid tyre bursts on road.
- Roads should be in good condition with proper sign boards. It is vital to install reflectors on roads so that deviations and medians are clearly visible to drivers.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol while driving. Drugs and alcohol can slow down reflexes, disrupt accurate judgments, and cause mental alertness to dip. They have been the reason behind many fatal road accidents.
- Falling asleep behind the wheel has led to many grave mishaps on the road. Drivers must rest well as the lack of it can have an adverse effect on mental alertness, slow down reflexes, and even cause momentary sleepiness behind the wheel. What follows is a disaster.
The Road Ahead
Road safety is a collective effort of the government and people. While the government administration must leave no stone unturned in ensuring proper condition of the roads and enforcing strict adherence to traffic rules, responsible driving and the right attitude of people with respect to traffic rules is perhaps the first step on the long road to 100% safety on the roads.