In yet another road accident, Kolkata-based model-actor Sonika Singh Chauhan, popular as the anchor of Indian Pro Kabaddi League, was killed in a car accident as her friend and actor Vikram Chatterjee lost control of the white sedan he was driving, near the Rashbehari crossing on Saturday (Apr 29).
Earlier in March, noted folk singer Kalika Prasad Bhattacharya died in a car accident in Hooghly district of West Bengal.
According to a report released by Union Road Transport & Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, 5 lakh road accidents occurred in 2015 where 1,46000 people were killed and thrice the number were injured.
As per the report compiled by the Transport Research Wing, the total number of road accidents rose by 2.5% from 4,89,400 in 2014 to 5,01,423 in 2015.
The total number of people who died in road accidents increased by 4.6% from 1,39,671 in 2014 to 1,46,133 in 2015.
Road accident injuries also rose by 1.4% from 4,93,474 in 2014 to 5,00,279 in 2015.
The severity of road accidents, measured in terms of the number of people killed per 100 accidents has increased from 28.5 in 2014 to 29.1 in 2015.
Here are 10 ways you may avoid car accidents:
1. Wear your seatbelt:
No matter how uncool it is, always wear a safety seat belt whether you are driving or riding a car. Its basic mechanism prevents you from flying forward and colliding with the dashboard or windshield during a car crash.
2. Don’t drink and drive:
Even if it was just one drink, it is enough to cause a chemical effect that impairs your judgment and reaction time temporarily. Either ask your “sober” friend to drive you home or take public transport or hire a cab.
3. Practice driving:
Getting a license does not make you a good driver, practice does. So make sure you keep practicing driving regularly before taking your friends for long drives in your car.
4. Don’t over-crowd your car:
More the passenger, more there will be over-crowding and distractions. If you are new at the driver’s seat, it is best to keep the minimum passengers to avoid car accidents.
5. Avoid night driving:
The roads remain significantly vacant at night, tempting you to jump traffic signals and drive beyond the permissible speed.
A recent study has shown that chances of fatal car accidents are three times more at night and dawn than during daytime.
6. Don’t use mobile phones while driving:
If you have an emergency call, park your car at the roadside and attend it. Even speaking on phone via headphones are risky and make you vulnerable to road accidents.
7. Choose your car wisely:
Check out with car crash tester the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and get the car with the highest safety rating. Try to avoid small cars and sport utility vehicles.
8. Train yourself for bad weather driving:
It will not always be a sunny day when you sit behind the wheels. Driving your car safely beating storms and heavy rains on slippery roads need expert hands. Train yourself thoroughly.
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9. Obey traffic rules:
You get a new power (to drive), and along with, you also get the responsibility to obey traffic rules meant for your safety as well as others, including fellow-passengers, fellow drivers and pedestrians.
It is not that difficult to obey simple traffic rules like following the traffic signal, or indicating before changing lanes and/or taking a turn.
10. Don’t sleep while driving:
Stop driving the minute you start feeling exhausted or drowsy. Thus you will be able to escape a disaster. Nothing is deadlier (literally) than the one behind the wheels falling asleep.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.