Road Accidents and Remedies
Sunday, Mar 31 - 2013
Er. Ranjit Ku. Das
Whenever we listen to radio news, TV News, go through daily newspapers, we come to know about road accident. The accident may be cyclist and so on resulting fatal injuries to persons or loss of life along with loss of property. Due to graphical increase of motor vehicles on the road, day to day, the road accident is growing in our society just like cancer. Unless we adopt pre cautionary measures to prevent, it will paralyze and minimize the life span of human life.
Before we search for safety measures for prevention of road accidents, we should first discuss its causes vividly. Broadly. The factors responsible to cause accident can be considered under following headlines.
1. The road
2. The Vehicle
3. The Driver
4. The Pedestrians
5. The Passengers
6. Environmental Factors
7. Stray animals
8. Other Causes
1. THE ROAD
The characteristic of road has a great influence for cause of accident.
a. Slippery or skidding road surface, pit holes and other damaged condition of road surface causes accident.
b. Defective geometric design like inadequate sight distance, inadequate width & shoulders improper curve design, improper lightening & improper traffic control devices are the causes for road accident
2. THE VEHICLE
Some people say that vehicles are the biggest culprits that cause serious accident. The naked truth is that “no vehicle is perfectly safe”. We do not know when an accident will occur on the road due to mechanical failure of vehicle. There is probability of failure of brake, steering system, lighting system, tyre burst and any other mechanical defect in the vehicles.
Though we have improved the quality of motor vehicle, yet it plays a vital role in the road accident.
3. THE DRIVER
The driver is the key factor in most of the road accident. He is the human element in charge of machine. He drives it, accelerates it, brakes it, steers it, accelerates it, & stops it. During the course of his normal driving in the busy street he has to overtake many vehicles, & to be overtaken by some, performs numerous turning manoeurves, faces dangerous situations, a number of pedestrians who cross the streets at odd places and he takes decision in a fraction of seconds. It is understood that the driver can make accident or he can save accident. It depends on his behaviour, alertness and vision power. But due to reckless, carelessness driving of some drivers, violation of rules and regulations, failures to understand the traffic sign, signals, accident occurs.
4. THE PEDESTRIANS
Accident occurs due to pedestrians as they cross the roadway, means for vehicular traffic, carelessly and violate the traffic rules & regulations. Alcohol & drug addiction of both the drivers & pedestrians contribute to a great extent in increasing the road accident.
5. THE PASSENGERS
Some time passengers are hurried to get down suddenly & to get into the running vehicles causes serious accident. This is due to the lack of awareness of traffic rules & Laws.
6. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS
Unfavorable weather condition like fog, mist, snowfall, dust, smoke, heavy rainfal also cause road accident as it restricts the visibility of driver and renders driving unsafe.
7. STRAY ANIMALS
Start animals like cast, dogs, cows, buffalos come suddenly on to the road and driver fail to control the vehicle which cause serious accident.
8. OTHER CAUSES OF ACCIDENT
Due to zig-zag road, wrong installation of road signs, improper lighting on the street, accummulation of sand, bricks and stones on the common road causes accidents. Unguarded railway crossing also causes accident.
Now it is high time to innovate and discuss how to prevent accident. What are the traffic control devices that should be used in the common roadway for the safety of road user. We shall plan & design the road in such a manner that the traffic will move safely, timely, speedly, economically to the destination with all parking facility on the road.
The various measures/ remedies decrease the accident rates may be divided in to three groups.
These are termed as 3-Es
a. Road Design: The geometric design features of road such as sight distance, width of pavement, vertical & horizontal alignment should be checked properly. Whenever necessary footpath, humps over bridge, subways, road dividers, round aborts, islands should be constructed for safe travel of traffic. When ever necessary by- passes may be constructed to separate Express traffic from Local traffic. To minimize delay and conflicts at the intersections, it may be essential to design and construct grade separated intersection or fly-over.
b. Preventive maintenance of Vehicles: The braking system, steering, tyre condition & lighting arrangements of vehicles playing on the road should be checked at suitable intervals and penalty should be imposed.
c. Accident Data: The record of accident and their patterns at different locations should be maintained by collision and collision diagram. After making necessary improvement in design, it is again required to collect & maintain the record of accident data “before and after” to study their efficiency.
d. Street Lighting: Proper street lighting will decrease the rate of accident during night. Lighting is necessary at some vulnerable point like at bridge sites, intersections, pedestrian crossing, and at places where there are restrictions for traffic movements.
The various measures of enforcement may be useful to prevent accident on roadways are enumerated here.
a. Speed control: Surprise checking of spot speed of all fast moving vehicles should be down at selected location and timing and legal action on those who violate the speed limits should be taken.
Now mobile interceptors are introduced in our country with all modern scientific technique to check the spot speed of vehicle from a distance of two Kms by computerized radar system and also it can check the driver who is driving taking alcohol and accordingly they may be penalized as per M. V Act 1988.
b. Traffic Control Devices: At the intersections, light signal system may be introduced if necessary. Similarly road signs, road markings or chanellising islands may be installed/ constructed wherever found necessary.
c. Training & Supervision: The transport authority should be strict in testing & issuing license to drivers of public service vehicles and taxies. Driving license of drivers may be renewed after specified period, after conducting tests to check whether the driver is physically fit to drive.
d. Medical check: The drivers should be tested for vision at prescribed intervals, say once in three years.
e. Observance of Law & regulation: This is one of the most essential steps in enforcement for prevention of accidents. The transport authority should depute a study group assisted by police to different locations of roadway to check whether the traffic regulations are being followed by road users. The study group can provide useful data for deciding about the necessity of certain traffic regulation.
Education of Road users: It is very essential to educate the road users for various precautionary measures to use the roadway facilities with safety. The pedestrians should be taught how to cross the road at Zebra crossing, how to use footpath, how to use subway etc.
The cyclist, motorcycle rider should be taught not to use footpath, which is meant for pedestrians. They should use indicator light or hand signals while taking left or right turns. Motorcyclist should use headgear and two persons may travel on the motorcycle including the rider. Good brakes, night lamps, head light and red reflector at the read should be clean and proper while using the road. They should obey the light signals at intersections. So road safety education occupies an important place in the prevention of accident. The drivers of four wheelers should be taught to use seat belt, to keep valid driving license with them and to abbey rules of the road. All vehicles should maintain safe braking distance while driving on the road.
Traffic education should be started from school level, so that they will not face problem in future when they will drive bike or four- wheeler on the road.
The rules of the road should be broadcasted through electronics media or newspaper for general awareness of public/ road users. Photographs / Hoardings/ picturising the result of accident should be installed at the intersections to give the message to road users.
Without traffic education, life has no meaning at all.
For safety of road, safety of vehicle, safety of road users, we observe January 1st week as “road Safety week” in our country. But it should not be confined in week but should be extended to whole life as far as we are using the road. A little advice to schoolchildren who use road in a nutshell.
“Do not be hurry
If you will be hurry
You may suffer injury
Resulting your parents
To feel very very sorry”
Traffic Training Institute