ROAD RISKS

              

 

Each time we use the road as a driver, passenger or pedestrian, we put ourselves to risks. Certain conditions add to the risk. These are mentioned below:

1)        Driving/traveling at night

2)        Bad weather

3)        Road condition

4)        Car failure

5)        Unexpected situations

1)        Driving/traveling at night:

Visibility is greatly reduced at night. Depth, perception, color recognition, peripheral vision are affected. This hampers judgment on the road

► Fatigue, that brings on drowsiness, adds to the danger.

► Nights are especially notorious for fatal crashes that occur due to use of alcohol.

Measures to be taken:

► Avoid using the roads at night as far as possible.

Take preventive action in case you do:

       As a driver:

● Make sure all lights are in working condition. Clean them well before moving.

    Reduce driving speed.

    Drive with low beams.

    Stop and rest if you are too tired.

As a passenger:

● Avoid traveling at night however tempting it may be.

   Avoid sleeping to seated near the driver.

   Make sure the driver is wide awake and alert.

   Ask the driver to stop if you have the slightest doubt.

2)        Bad weather:

Vision is hampered due to bad weather conditions such as rainfall, fog or snowfall.

The risk multiplies ten fold if the same is faced while driving at night. Brakes too do not work well enough in rain or snowfall.

Measures to be taken:

► Avoid using the road in bad weather. Refrain from tendency to ‘carry on’, despite unfavorable conditions.

► If caught unawares, stop at the nearest available shelter – home/hotel/shop or pull off the road and park at a safe place. Make use of hazard lights.

As a pedestrian:

   Use bright colored clothes while walking.

   Wear a reflective band around wrists and heels or head.

    Walk on the pavement or on the extreme right of the road that will enable you to see the approaching traffic.

3)        Unexpected situations could be falling rocks or any of the like of those given

below:

Mr. A drives right into a truck. Reason, no tail lights.

Mr. B bangs into the car before him.

Reason. Brakes suddenly with no indication brake lights two are not working.

Mr. C loses control of his speeding vehicle and is thrown off road.

Reason. A scooterist entering the main road from a side road, did not follow the right of way.

Mr. D is held responsible for injuring a little child.

Reason : The child comes running almost out of nowhere, onto the street and right into his path.

Expect the unexpected. In this way you are better equipped or prepared to handle the situation. Look out for the mistakes of others.

Miss E who is walking on extreme left the road on her way to school is crushed under the wheels of a truck.

Reason? The truck driver loses control due to fatigue.

These and more such incidents reveal that a great number of accidents occur most unexpectedly. We need to be alert always and exercise caution when we use the roads.

 

Risky behaviors associated with increased risk of crashing include:

  • Driving at night: The highest risk of death for young drivers (aged 25 years or less) involved in a road crash occurs during the night-time hours; especially nearing midnight and into the early morning hours, and during these times on weekends.
  • Alcohol: Compared to more experienced drivers (those who have been driving for 5 years or more) first year Provisional drivers are 3 times more likely to be injured in a crash if they have been drinking.  The risk is greater for young drivers: drivers in their 20s have at least 5 times the risk of crashing compared to drivers in their 30s for all alcohol levels.
  • Using a mobile phone when driving: The risk of crashing when using a mobile phone increases four-fold, while the risk of driver death is between 4-9 times higher than when not using a phone.  Young drivers are also more likely to be severely injured in a crash when distracted by a mobile telephone.
  • Carrying multiple peer passengers: Australian studies have shown increased risk of death in a crash for probationary drivers who carry more than one passenger.  In Provisional drivers, the odds of crashing increase 50% when carrying one passenger, and more than double when carrying three or more passengers.  Victorian data shows over one-quarter of first year Provisional drivers who die in crashes were carrying multiple passengers at the time of the crash.

Thus Road Traffic Accident involvement of young drivers is associated with:

  • Inexperience and poor judgment in more difficult driving conditions (poor weather, poor visibility, poor quality road environment)
  • Inadequate control of the car (single vehicle accidents, skidding, overturning, leaving the road)
  • Lifestyle factors (social driving particularly at night and at weekends, when factors such as alcohol and peer pressure affect where and how young people drive)
  • Economic factors which result in young drivers being more likely to have cheaper older cars which offer them less protection from injury than newer cars would.