Road Accidents in India: Safety Tips

According to Wikipedia, "The frequency of traffic collisions in India is amongst the highest in the world. A National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report revealed that every year, more than 135,000 traffic collision-related deaths occur in India." (Wikipedia)

Further, the Wikipedians stated:
Tamil Nadu records the highest road accidents for a decade and its capital Chennai has more accidents then any other city in India.

In New Delhi, the capital of India, the frequency of traffic collisions is 40 times higher than the rate in London, the capital of the United Kingdom.

Traffic collision-related deaths increased from 13 per hour in 2008 to 14 per hour in 2009. More than 40 per cent of these casualties are associated with motorcycles and trucks. The most accident-prone time on Indian roads is during the peak hour at afternoon and evening.

According to road traffic safety experts, the actual number of casualties may be higher than what is documented, as many traffic accidents go unreported. Moreover, victims who die some time after the accident, a span of time which may vary from a few hours to several days, are not counted as car accident victims.

In 2015, one person dies every 4 minutes in roads accidents in India, according to NGO 'Indians for Road Safety'.

India stands out miserably in the latest World Health Organisation's (WHO) "Global Road Safety Report-2015" with an estimated 207,551 deaths on roads.
While a lot of road development work continues to be done by the Government, these are not sufficient to decrease the rate of road accidents. In several parts of India, road traffic is chaotic with everyone in a hurry trying to get fast past everyone in whatever space they can squeeze in by. Also, there is rash driving and drunken driving. Not everyone understands much about traffic rules, the proper use of lights, the control of speed. Very few drivers realize that they need to dim their lights when there is a head-on approaching vehicle. The intense glare of lights dazzles visibility and is extremely dangerous when there may be pedestrians walking on the road or cows sitting on the road or pot holes ahead which become invisible due to the glare of light. A slight distraction from the road ahead can prove fatal.

http://www.michelin.in/ provides certain tips:
Driving on Wet Ground:
  • Always drive with two hands to stay in control.
  • Slow down: tyres will have better traction and contact with the road.
  • Increase your distance from other cars significantly.
  • Stay vigilant of other drivers and dangers in your surroundings. Anticiliate dangerous situations rather than waiting to react to them.
  • Before turning: only brake in a straight line before the turn, and do so gradually. Do not brake during the turn as this can make you slili.
  • While turning: slow down before turning, and maintain a consistent slieed throughout the turn.
  • While turning: don’t make any sudden steering wheel movements.
  • Inspect your tyres monthly: make sure your tyres have the proper amount of tread and tyre pressure.
  • Choose tyres that offer maximum grili in wet weather.

Safe driving at night:
  • Give your eyes some time to adjust to the light and shadows.
  • Tilt your rear view mirror slightly to reduce the dazzling effect of the car headlights behind you or change to night setting, if your rear view mirror has this option.
  • Don't look directly at the headlights from cars travelling in the opposite direction. Avoid driving with headlights on high beam to avoid inconvenience to commuters travelling in opposite direction. High beam should be used when there is no vehicle in front for some distance.
  • Always flash the headlights a couple of times before overtaking a vehicle.
  • Don’t drive too fast: visibility is reduced at night, making it hard for you to see the road ahead.

Safe driving in fog:
  • Visibility deteriorates in fog:
  • Turn on your dipped headlight and fog lights.
  • Reduce your speed and refrain from overtaking.
  • Leave enough time to react in an emergency by keeping a safe braking distance from the vehicle in front of you.
Safe driving in wind:
  • Reduce your speed. Be prepared to stop at any time.
  • Close all windows. An open window can attract airborne particles like dust that can affect visibility.
  • Keep an eye out for obstacles or debris being blown on to the road.
  • Be aware that people may not hear your horn during strong windy conditions.
  • If you’re carrying cargo on your vehicle, make sure it’s tied down securely.
  • Be very careful passing taller vehicles especially in exposed areas or on bridges.

Safe driving in mountain areasBefore driving:
  • Prior to setting off, check your brakes; test them and check the brake fluid.
  • Carry the tools necessary in case you break down (for a full list see Precautions and Emergencies).
  • Check the condition of your spare tyre: the appropriate pressure is especially important.
  • Check the weather and road conditions in the mountain area and choose your route wisely.
  • Avoid driving at high speed
  • Horn while turning on roads in the day time and in the nigh time use dipper
While driving:
  • Sound your horn in advance if your view is blocked during cornering.
  • Drive carefully and slow down in turns, especially when your view is blocked.
  • Never speed or pass in sharp turns where you may not see oncoming vehicles.

Safe driving in mud
  • Simple ways to decide if you can get across the mud:
  • When there’s heavy mud on the road or if you’re driving off-road, stop your vehicle and inspect the hardness and depth of the mud before driving through it.
  • Observe tire tracks of other vehicles to gauge the depth and consistency of the mud.
  • Determine the type of vehicles that have left the track from the sizes and widths of the track. Use that information as a reference to decide if you can get across.

Check Michelin for more tips
Also check Business Today for defensive driving tips.

Automobile Association has the following tips for two-wheelers and car-drivers:
Riding on a Two wheeler you are Most vulnerable Save Yourself and others by Safe and defensive driving.
  • Check Vehicle condition particularly Brake, Tyre Presssure, Light, Horn Clutch before starting the vehicle for the day.
  • Wear Helmet fixing the chain strap properly for your bare head cannot bear a fall on the Road. Wearing it and carrying it may be inconvenient. But not wearing it, is not worth the risk of dying or living like a Vegetable. Be specially careful while carrying a pillion passenger. Do not make him or her suffer for your mistake.
  • Drive on left side of the Road leaving the centre of the road for cars and avoid zig zag driving.
  • Signal your intentions clearly and well in advance and follow traffic signals correctly.
  • Do Not Turn Abruptly and Don’t take chances.
  • When Vehicles wait for signal or due to some Block, que up and do not go infringing opposite vehicle’s right of way.
  • Space in between moving vehicles is left for avoiding collision and do not ride in that Gap.
  • Speed limit of 40 km per hour is only the maximum limit and speed depends on traffic and road condition.
  • On the road traffic situation can change at any time and hence alertness is a must.
  • Anticipate and make allowance for the mistake of other users.
  • Respond properly to what you see in the mirror.
  • Vehicle cannot stop at the same place where you brake and this stopping distance will increase with the speed.
  • Treat every junction as ‘Halt and Go’ Point and slow down well before approaching the junction.
  • Never overtake on Bridges, Junctions, Pedestrian Crossing, School Zones and in places marked with yellow lines.
  • Overtaking on left is never right.
  • Do not talk on cell phone while driving. Park and Talk.
  • Be prepared always to give way even if it is your right of way for courtesy and consideration will make your trip peaceful and pleasant.
  • Give Way to pedestrian at pedestrian crossing.
  • Stop at stop line when signal turns from green to amber and do not start before amber becomes green again.
When you are driving a Car
  • When starting from parked place watch out, signal and then proceed.
  • Give way to pedestrians at pedestrain crossing.
  • Restrict speed according to Traffic conditions.
  • Signal your intentions clearly and well in advance and follow traffic signals correctly.
  • Remember that braking distance increases steeply with speed.
  • Be cautious and slow while going in the school zone.
  • Overtaking in bridges, cutting yellow lines and in junctions can result in head on collision.
  • Overtaking in right only is right.
  • Stop at Traffic signal even when green treen turns to Amber.
  • In signal points and traffic hold ups que up without overtaking.
  • Fasten Seat Belt.
  • Keep children in the rear seat only.
  • Horn only when you must.
  • Dip and Dim your light while driving in night to prevent accident arising out of Dazzling light.
Defensive Driving is ‘Driving expecting the unexpected’. You have to drive giving allowance for other road users behaviour. The National Safety Council of U.S.A defines Defensive Driving as ‘Driving to save lives, time and money inspite of the conditions around you and the actions of others’.
Defensive driving is discipline driving. Defensive drivers must exhibit patience, cooperation and courtesy.

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