Available statistics about road safety in India indicates that more than a lakh people die in road accidents every year. Pedestrians, cyclists, and riders of motorized 2- and 3-wheelers and their passengers are collectively known as “vulnerable road users” and account for half of all road traffic deaths around the world. A higher proportion of vulnerable road users die in low-income countries than in high-income countries.
There is an increasing trend of unsafe driving that leads to vehicle accidents in which many people die, undergo serious injuries or lose their body parts permanently. Many of these accidents occur due to poor driving skills, non-adherence to road safety precautions, lack of awareness and violation of traffic rules.
The government of India celebrates Road safety week from 11th to 17th of January every year. This program is aimed at raising public awareness about traffic rules and ultimately to reduce casualties due to road accidents.
The key objectives of celebrating ‘National Road Safety Week’ are;
• To create awareness and promote road safety in schools, colleges and to customers.
• Minimizing injuries and deaths because of road accidents by applying road safety measures including wearing seat belts and helmets.
Based on recommendations of the WHO*, following general safety tips if implemented would help make our roads safer:
1.Always drive at safe speed. Statistics indicate that for every 1% increase in mean speed, there is a 4% increase in the risk of a fatal crash.
2.Wear a helmet (of ISI standard) which is strapped on while riding a two-wheeler. Wearing a good quality helmet can reduce the risk of death by 42% and severe injury by approximately 70%.
3.Wear seat belt (both driver and passenger) to avoid injury. Wearing a seat-belt reduces the risk of injuries and deaths among front seat occupants by 45-50% and rear-seat car occupants by 25–75%.
4.Do not make children sit in front seats. Placing children in child restraints reduces the risk of death by at least 60%, particularly for children aged less than 4 years.
5.Do not use mobile phones or other gadgets that can distract concentration while driving. Driver reaction times are 50% slower while using a telephone than without.
6.Ensure the voice level of music systems are within safe audible limits.
7.Avoid unwanted honking on the road which may distract other vehicle drivers or pedestrians.
8.Ensure your vehicle is properly serviced as per the vehicle maintenance frequency.
9.Do not drive under the influence of alcohol. Drinking and driving increase the risk of an accident dramatically when the driver has a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of above 0.05 g/dl.
These are some important safety measuresthat everyone should follow in order to stay safe and secure. Also, it is very important to teach these safety measures to the children at an early age so that they can avoid unfortunate incidents in the future.