Sounds like a raving of a maniac, No? Yes, apparently it is. But there is some amount of truth behind the statement. Curious to know the truth? You have to be; death is the only certain thing in human life. None can deny this.
So, why I am making such a statement? You must have been bored by now, but can you deny that averting death on roads due to road accident is possible? I know that you cannot. Because there is always a preventable cause behind such deaths.
The shocking scenario
Driving on any Indian roads is something like passing through a chaos. This is free-for-all-situation! Wow! Everyone shifting lanes, taking turns at his own free sweet will. The result is what has to happen is happening.
Both WHO and UN accepted road accident as the most contributing factor of death due to preventable causes. According to official statistics around 140000 of people in our country die of such preventable road accidents. Though India account for less than 3% of the world vehicles, we contribute almost 10% of the total deaths due to road accidents! And if the trend persists only God knows where we will land in the next 10 years!
The condition is so serious that it does not spare anyone. The VVIPs are also victims of road accidents. Even our central Cabinet Minister Gopinath Munde died in a car crash recently.
Is that what we have a car for?
Certainly not! But this is a very common scene that we always find while driving on highways. We have transformed our national highways into a real; real death trap and a mortuary for crashed vehicles. We simply see and pass by without thinking that this is our national loss in terms of money and invaluable life of our fellow countrymen.
But who is to be blamed for the outcome?
The first and foremost name that comes to the mind is the driver. But blaming someone has never been able to solve any problem. We must ask ourselves rephrasing the question as what are the main attributes. Here lies the answer. Read any newspaper and you will find that there are fatal crashes for (i) high speed driving, (ii) boozed driving, (iii) driving while speaking on cell phones and last but not the least (iv) breaking safety rules.
Shall we repent or do something?
Repenting and accepting the accident as an act of luck will not get you anywhere. None can reverse a death. It is well known to all; but we can very well avert the deaths due to causes that could have been prevented. But how? We all know the answer but being escapist always pose to be ignorant just for the fear of doing something proactively. Alas! This cannot go for long. We must accept our responsibility to ensure safety to our fellow motorists and fellow countrymen at all costs.
Blue citizenship! Opening a new horizon!
As the earth appears to be blue from outside, inspired by this hue, the ‘Blue Citizenship’ movement of Nissan addresses safety efforts encouraging drivers and passengers to follow safety norms through interactive transactional sessions. Already more than 2 lakhs of people have been covered and the entire country will be brought under its purview gradually.
Social amnesia! Or something else?
We are basically bigmouths and love to break rules. And our families are paying the price of our recklessness. Wherever you go, you will find posters with slogans on the two sides of the road and those are confined to displays only. Drivers pass those in split seconds contradicting what it intends to communicate. Even today so many years after independence we could not grow into a nation and forget that we cannot shake the responsibility of making Indian nationals safe.
The disease and our responsibility
Every minute there is a road accident either killing or injuring people. Do you know that almost 97% of the Indian roads do not have any footpath? The story does not end here. Around 20 children under the age of 14 succumb to death everyday on Indian roads?
There is an adage that says “to be successful we must invite the future”. Yes we are always doing that the other way round! We really invite our future disaster when we do not follow the road safety rules. Can we forget that every driver has a social responsibility to maintain road safety etiquette for making others safe?
Living in a fool’s paradise!
All of us maintain safe distance from others while walking. But do we do so while we drive? The answer is diabolically ‘NO’. This is really callous. We take precaution when there is less danger and do the opposite when we know it can be fatal! Regular counseling of drivers with tightening the licensing and vehicle fitness procedure with respect to safety standards is a must.
Our dream intervention in road safety
We must ensure compulsory use of seat belts and helmets. The law should be enforced rigidly and the law breakers be dealt strongly with deterring penalties. Only this can reduce fatalities due to frontal crash.
Improvement in design and installing modern gadgets like safety- shield technology in the vehicles can only save our fellow citizens from frontal crash.
What about the unfortunate pedestrians? We cannot let them die! Do we? Only ensuring provisions for the pedestrians like sidewalks and wide road shoulders can bring the fatalities significantly down.
Only the above will not suffice. Improving surface condition, road signs, markings and also making different lanes for slow and fast moving vehicle has to be done.
The social evil of speeding up and driving after a booze has to be stopped by strict enforcement of law and enhancing awareness.
Even if we could implement all these overnight with the help of a magic wand; there will be some accidents. Only upgrading the infrastructure and accessibility of the trauma care centers for receiving medical care within the first crucial hour can change the situation.
Only interactive sessions with illustration can help
Nissan Safety Driving Forum has started road safety campaign to increase awareness about benefits of road safety along with safety technologies in cars. Belting up the people is the target they have chosen first and already started campaigning in several cities apprising people through interactive sessions. Nissan uses rollover and low-speed crash simulator for illustration. The drivers handling the simulators get really excited and promise to wear sit belts.