Hope you had a relaxing Sunday!
I can see a kite flying high in the sky,
I can hear the horns of car passing by
I can touch my teddy bear and feel its soft fur
I can taste honey – oh so sweet
I can smell the scent of a mango
Oh no! Don’t think I have gone mad. These are the five senses – Scintillating Sight, Soothing Hearing, Comforting Touch, Awesome Taste, and Pleasant Smell. These at times make me forget myself. If you use these senses wisely, you will always be safe. I think you now got my point. Yes! We are going to talk about safety today – not just SAFETY but ROAD SAFETY.
Road safety is a challenge and social concern in India. You all know that I am from Palakkad, Kerala. Last week, a girl studying in a college close to my home was hit by the KSRTC bus while trying to cross the road. It happened due to over speed and an auto coming in the wrong direction. The girl who is aged only 18 years died on the spot. It was really saddening for me because you become a victim even when the mistake is not yours.
Don’t we all read these kinds of accidents in the newspaper every morning? Why does that happen again and again? Carelessness? We do get affected and these scenes are being enacted every day on Indian Roads. Some dangerous places don’t have sign boards, signals or police. The law and order is not strict in our country like foreign places where you will have to pay a huge amount as fine or you will be put inside the bars immediately. Neither people nor the government bothers except for a few NGO’s. The roads are full of potholes and they are a way to hell.
Report says “Traffic accidents are ‘biggest killer of young people worldwide’”. 3 out of every 10 Indians are dying in accidents. It is the time to change this status. Avoid accidents. Prevention is better than cure.
I worked as a part time social media account manager for GNK Foundation which is based in Bangalore and focuses on road safety and hence I am aware of the real facts related to road safety . I worked for three months online for them and I created some posters to spread the awareness. Let me share my tips and views on the steps that would help with road safety in India.
Be Bright. Be Seen – You need to be aware that some colours are better seen than others. Neon fluorescent shades are the latest in trend. The implication that they have on Road Safety is high. Florescent colours are very bright and show up best during the day time. Reflective material works best at night because it ‘shines’, reflecting back car headlights.
Don’t walk into danger. Be Safe, Be Seen by letting others know you’re there. Make Yourself Visible by incorporating flashing lights, headlights and reflectors into your bike gear and clothing. Neon colored bike jerseys and vests with reflective surfaces will stand out in the darkness and reflect off of oncoming headlights.
“It’s yellow, it’s ugly, it doesn’t go with anything, but it can save your life” – Karl Lagerfeld
Give attention to the season and time – As the climatic conditions vary, we often find ourselves travelling in dark or gloomy conditions. Weather conditions can be icy, wet etc. During snowy days, we cannot see the person or vehicles coming ahead since everything is covered by fog. During rainy days it takes longer for vehicles to brake suddenly than on dryer roads. Drivers will have difficulty in seeing clearly due to downpour; windows steaming etc. We have to encounter a lot of problems during such days. Rain puddles on roads; splashes from vehicles passing nearby, puddles which may conceal potholes, tyres losing grip due to wetness are the possible risks. Pay extra attention on these kinds of situations.
Sleep well and drive carefully – Research suggests that almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related. Sleep-related accidents are more likely than others to result in a fatality or serious injury. About 40% of sleep-related accidents involve commercial vehicles. If you are alert you can avert an accident. Don’t drive tired or sleepy i.e. When you are in fatigue.
Drive safe, watch your speed and be careful – The risk of death is approximately 4 times higher when a pedestrian is hit at 50 km/h than at 40 km/h. Fatal accidents are 4 times as likely on rural roads as urban roads. Do you know that for every 1 km/hr reduction in average speed, there is a 2% reduction in the average number of crashes on the road? Reducing your speed and keeping an extra distance between you and the vehicle in front is very important. Remember large trucks do not behave like passenger cars. That means that they have to accelerate or slow down at a slower pace so please think twice before slamming on the horn and speeding around them when they are simply trying to be safe drivers.
Use Seat Belt and Buckle Up – Help everyone on road by buckling up yourself. Even if you sit on the rear seat, always remember to buckle up. Belt up all passengers, not just front-seat. Heaven can wait. Your seat belt will trap you here on the Earth .Buckle up! Did you know you’re 8 times more likely to be ejected from your vehicle when you’re not wearing a seat-belt?
Avoid using mobile phones – You’re four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone while driving. Reaction times for drivers using a phone are around 50% slower than normal driving. Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash. We don’t fail to see the TEXT but we all fail to see the TRUCK. Don’t text and drive and never use a mobile phone when driving.
Stop Look and Listen. Use your senses – Stop, look, and listen before you cross the road. Think twice. Follow the safety rules. Don’t play with your own life and risk yourselves. Concentrate only on one activity at a time. Do not try to do multi tasking coz the brain gets distracted and diverted.
Wear a helmet – Even the tortoise which is the slowest animal knows the importance of helmet. Wear it properly coz it protects you. Earth rotates @1000 mph so stay protected rather than projected. Wear your helmets.
Help, Educate, learn and Save Lives – Help others and others will help you. Save lives by spreading the awareness and educating the people around you. After all a friend in need is a friend indeed. Learn from your own experience or learn from others. Only fools repeat the mistakes. Always be mindful of pedestrians when behind the wheel! You could save a life! While driving you should carry your driving licence, registration certificate and possess the knowledge of traffic rules and driving practices that help traffic move safely.
Avoid reckless driving – Do not overtake and maintain the normal speed limit. Remember the speed limit is not a target, drive to the conditions.
Do not drink and drive and please don’t drug and drive – Not everyone who gets hit by an accident dies. You may even end up losing hand or leg. You may end up in wheel chair from 4 wheeler in 5 seconds. Don’t let your good time turn into your last time or just a memory. In England, a drunk driver pays the equivalent of a $250 fine, spends a year in jail, and then loses their license for one year. While in Russia, drunk drivers lose their license for life! Drunken pedestrians are a source of danger to themselves and other road users. If you have had one too many, don’t attempt to walk…Hail a taxi, use public transport or get a lift from a (non-drinking) friend.
Respect Road signs, signals and rules – You are not the only victim. Accidents shatter your life. It wrecks others too. Obey the traffic rules. Who said rules are for breaking? Always use a zebra crossing. Give way for vehicles carrying animals and slow down when you reach near schools. Walk and drive on the right side of the road by keeping left /right accordingly. Use pedestrian crossing and foot paths. Teach kids Stop says red, Wait says yellow and Go says green.
Avoid diesel/petrol spills on the road – These are very dangerous.do not overfill your tank and close its lid tightly.
Check your lights – When we’ll start to see our evenings getting a little darker. Please ensure your lights are fully operational for the darker months. See the mirrors.
Learner Drivers – All learner drivers must be accompanied, display L plates, and never drive on a motorway. Don’t drive unaccompanied if you are a learner, make sure the person in the car with you holds a full licence for 2 years or more. Make sure your L plates are clearly visible on front and back!
Keep an eye on children – Children are our future. So please be extra careful when driving and keep an eye out for children playing near the road. Many children will be outside playing in their neighborhoods, so be sure they know how to stay safe!
Avoid Tailgating – “Tailgating” is the practice of driving on a road too close to the vehicle in front, at a distance which does not guarantee that stopping to avoid collision is possible. Avoid waving and talking to other driver while you are on road.
Trucks/ heavy vehicles – Sometimes trucks pull over on the shoulder of the road due to a flat tire or other issue and put cones to indicate to passenger cars that they are pulled over and to hopefully reduce speed. Instead of trying to just squeeze past the cones, intentionally move over one or two lanes. They’re just trying to be safe. Remember that the roadways are shared and safety is a collective proactive + reactive effort.
Maintenance of your vehicle – Any time you drive somewhere, it always starts with your tires on the road going round and round. However, if your tires are not in good condition, that puts you at risk. Check your vehicle well before you use it. Check for loose brakes or parts.
How road safety savvy they you? Let’s get informed, stand up and speak up when things are awfully wrong. Please throw your weight behind the cause; I believe that together we can make a change.
“If only you knew you were driving to someone’s death? Would you still drive so fast? Think Twice.”
Responsibility on the road is not just towards one’s own self but also to the other motorists and pedestrians. Road Safety is a shared responsibility and not an accident. Road Safety begins with you. Safety starts with “S”, begins with “You”. I personally feel our Indian law should be much more stringent and tight so that everyone will have that fear and obey the rules.
It is going to be a new year with new possibilities. During this time, many of us reflect on where we are in our lives, and what we can do to improve our lives by taking New Year resolutions. This time I hope that all of you will not just concentrate on health, beauty and fitness but also safety. Play a safe game and stay safe always!
The Nissan Safety Driving Forum:
The Nissan Safety Driving Forum is a commitment to inculcate a safe on-road mind-set among the masses in India.
The Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., conducts the Nissan Safety Driving Forum (NSDF) in India as part of its safety driving promotion activities. The program began as an annual activity in 2012. In its initial phase it covered three main Indian cities – New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai – and since then has gradually expanded to several additional cities across India.
This year, NSDF would reach 8 new cities – Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Vadodara, Nagpur, Chennai, Mangalore and Kochi. The overall reach and engagement levels have phenomenally grown and NSDF has effectively reached close to 2 lakh citizens. It continues to stay committed to its core objective of promoting safe driving behaviour in India.
Compared to the previous year, NSDF has witnessed an impressive 126% growth in the sensitisation of wearing seatbelts. In addition, NSDF also conducts live simulated experiences to understand how safety features function through a simulated car crash. A 360-degree turn over highlights the use of seatbelts, while sessions on road safety emphasises on road etiquette to stay safe.
Under its Blue Citizenship CSR umbrella, NSDF by Nissan works to build awareness of safe driving in India. NSDF encourages drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts, and participants learn through interactive activities the importance of wearing seatbelts.
Nissan seeks to support reducing fatalities and injuries caused by traffic accidents, and NSDF represents the company’s commitment in contributing to young, vibrant and mobile India.