Do you know what is one of the biggest causes of death in India apart from cardiovascular diseases? Road accidents! In 2017, nearly 1.4 lakh people lost their lives in road accidents. More than half of this number are injured in accidents. We don’t mean to alarm you by presenting these statistics, but, in fact, you can do your bit – no matter how small -- to reduce down these numbers.
Here are a handful of guidelines you should follow on an individual level to reduce road accidents in India:
- Wear safety gear at all times: Whether you are driving your child to school, which is 500 metres away, or going grocery shopping, it is important to be safe at all times. Always wear a seat belt/helmet to ensure you are protected even while driving/riding small distances. Also, always carry a copy of your car insurance/two wheeler insurance.
- Avoid road rage: Ever heard of news reports where someone was killed by someone on the road for overtaking or changing lanes? No matter how annoyed you are at the other person for breaking a traffic law, do not take the law into your hands by indulging in an attack of violence, as this will only lead to a bigger mishap. Moreover, if your car is damaged, you can make a claim with your motor insurance company instead of getting into a fight with the third party.
- Drive in the right spirit: Drive/ride like you value your life and those of others as well. If you drive with the right attitude, this will go a long way in reducing road accidents. If you do not make any claims on your car insurance or two wheeler insurance as a result of your good driving habits, you can accumulate No Claim Bonus which will help you get discounts on car insurance policy renewals.
- Stay focused: When you play a video game, what do you do? You only play the game, right? So, when you drive, you only need to focus on your driving. And, of course, we don’t mean to treat driving like a game unless you don’t value your life. Keep your eyes on the road, watch out for pedestrians and avoid listening to music on earphones while riding/driving.
- Help victims of road accidents: If you spot a victim of road accidents, do not hesitate to help them fearing legal consequences. After observing that often Good Samaritans who helped accident victims were troubled by the legal system, a then 34-year-old filed a Public Interest Litigation with the Supreme Court in 2012. In 2016, the Good Samaritan Law was passed, which protects those who rescue road accident victims.
- Buy motor insurance: According to Motor Vehicle Act, driving without a third party motor insurance is an offence. Therefore, ensure you have a valid car insurance/two wheeler insurance. Don’t forget to renew your motor insurance online before the due date.
Now, here are some tips that can be followed on the state/center-level to reduce road accidents:
- Launch a city-wise agency that oversees road safety: This agency should be responsible for checking road design flaws, implementing accident prevention measures, organizing regular awareness drives and more.
- Apply uniform laws across all states and union territories of India: The fines as well as laws should be made uniform cross India, as life holds the same value everywhere.
- Launch a helpline for every city: A dedicated 24/7 helpline should be set up so that help reaches accident victims in minutes.
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