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Accidents on Indian Roads
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Accidents on Indian Roads

Accidents are quite common on Indian Roads. According to figures by the Road Safety Cell of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, there were 3.9 lakh accidents in 2000; 78,911 were killed and 3, 99,265 injured. Moreover with the rapid urbanization, India has seen an un-precedent growth of motor vehicles. Currently motor vehicle accidents rank ninth in order of disease burden and are projected to be ranked third in the year 2020. Worldwide, the number of people killed in road traffic crashes each year is estimated at almost 1.2 million, while the number injured could be as high as 50 million. In India, over 80,000 persons die in the traffic crashes annually, over 1.2 million are injured seriously and about 300000 disabled permanently.

Safety studies have found that a majority of accidents occur either due to the driver's error or due to the negligence of the safety norms. Driver fatigue, drunken driving are some other reasons of the mishaps. The actions like dangerous overtaking, lane cutting, jumping of signals, erratic parking can be counted as major causes for the calamities on the roads. Usually, accidents are prevalent in urban cities where "Speed" of the vehicles is uncontrollable and where each and every individual is in hurry. Private vehicles get struck in the local roads while the commercial vehicle accidents are prevalent on highways. Buses are one more player. Many bus tyres get exploded, while most accidents occur because they do not use dim headlights.

Road related accidents cost India millions every year, but there is no sign of any possible intervention. To despair, there is no available record of precisely how much developmental money is lost due to road related accidents, and how much compensation is paid to road accident victims. Highways lack some sort of preliminary road safety measures including first aid emergency services etc. It is really ironical to note that, we have numerous liquor shops, motels, fun parks, and petrol pumps spread all over the highways, but scarce, or to be more precise, negligible trauma centers on highways.

Many researches and surveys are being carried out to look for the measures to control the mortality rate during the accidents on the Indians roads. It is usually recommended that strict licensing procedure being implemented. It is also advised to impart a minimal level of education related to road safety especially for young children. So, basically, we should look forward to formulate a comprehensive safe "Driving Policy".

On Indian roads, the safest driving policy is to assume that the other drivers will not respond to the traffic situation in the same way as you think. Apart from power steering and power brakes in our vehicles, we need both road sense and the necessary infrastructure. Though most of the accidents can be reduced by training drivers and enforcing rules, law does not tell you to be courteous. That one has to be self cultivated.

Apart from the infrastructural loop holes, vehicle manufacturers are also to blame to some extent. Knowing the extent of the impact of accidents in India, proper safety measurements are not implemented in vehicle designing for Indian roads. Equipment including safety air bags and many more, although present in vehicles abroad, are absent in Indian vehicles.

Note: "Most countries have a multi-disciplinary approach to traffic planning and road design. It is done by psychologists, engineers, doctors, sociologists and vehicle experts. In India, traffic is still a civil engineering issue."

Copyright 2015