The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Road Federation (IRF) publish details of accidents on roads all over the world, every year. And since the last five years India is attaining the dubious distinction of registering the most number of accidents and fatalities on its roads. Close to 125,000 people have died in road accidents last year, which means that on an average 14 persons die every hour in our country. The percentage of such figures and those of countless persons who get injured and disabled in road accidents is constantly growing. My intention of bringing forth these sorrowful statistics is to forewarn every reader to be very cautious on our roads.
India has little over 1 percent of world’s vehicles but it accounts for 11 percent of the world’s accidents. Our roads are filled with large number of careless drivers and pedestrians who do not follow traffic rules and road signs. Most of them go unwarned and unpunished and grow into confident and habitual risky drivers, a threat to themselves and others. This lack of discipline and respect for the rules and fear of the law is the main reason for the accidents. The 11.8 Kilometre long P.V. Narasimha Rao Expressway to Hyderabad International Airport has ‘Speed limit sign boards’ every few metres indicating a speed limit of 40 Kmph. You will find 99.99 percent cars plying on this flyover at speeds above 60 Kmph and up to even 120 Kmph! There are serious accidents on this stretch all due to rash driving; just a week back there was one involving a relative of ours. Fortunately he suffered only minor bruises but his car was heavily damaged. He was hit by a speeding car from the rear. There are plenty of bad drivers in our country, they should be disciplined before they harm themselves and others.
My caution is to each and every user of the road and especially to those who are more prone to injury, the pedestrians, cyclists and those riding motorbikes. Take care.