India boasts of one of the most well-connected road networks in the world. However, it is on these very roads, that the lives of many ends due to accidents. As a fact, statistics reveal that there is one death every four minutes on Indian roads.
There are various factors behind this grave situation, which include poor infrastructure, badly maintained vehicles, improper road conditions and violation of common driving rules. The last one is particularly crucial. To be following driving rules and saving ourselves, and our fellow drivers and pedestrians is largely our responsibility as citizens.
So, here are four driving rules that you can follow and ensure safe passage to everyone on the roads:
Keep Your Car Speed Within Limit & Overtake Sensibly
Driving fast can save only a bit of your time but can land you in many other difficulties. The most common cause of road accidents is over speeding. As a basic driving principle, you must ensure that your car speed is always in check.
That’s because the faster you are moving, the longer it takes for your car to stop when you apply the brakes. In case of situations where you have to suddenly brake to save an animal crossing the road or an unexpected pedestrian walking in the middle, there are high chances of collision. The high momentum can also lead to serious injuries.
The ideal driving speed is one that matches with the rest of the traffic.
You must stay away from vehicles that seem to be rushing. Certain roads, especially flyovers, have fixed speed limit, which you must not violate even if the roads are empty.
If you do need to overtake, you should always do so from the right, giving prior indicators to the vehicle in front and making your intentions clear at the same time.
Focus Completely and Solely on the Road
No matter how expert a driver you may be, paying wholehearted attention to the road is a must while driving. Many accidents occur due to the violation of this basic principle, due to common habits like using the cell phone while driving or talking too much.
alert helps to ensure that you can manoeuvre your car as per the need in case of unexpected situations.
For instance, a very common excuse that people give after an accident is that they never saw the person/vehicle coming from the opposite direction or that they missed out a fixed object like an electric pole. These might be sudden, but collisions can be avoided if one is completely alert to take control of the situation.
Assume responsibility for your own actions
You must consider your safety as your own responsibility. This means that you should never drive under the influence of alcohol or when you’re unwell to concentrate properly. You must also make it a point to wear seat belts and advise others in your car to do the same.
Moreover, you shouldn’t only expect fellow drivers to follow all the rules and keep you safe, with little regard for them yourself. While driving on open roads with heavy traffic, you must try and anticipate what the other drivers might do in the particular moment and stay wary, for that part is within your control. You can be more cautious when you are approaching traffic signals, joining the main road from a by-lane or passing by a commercial centre where cars are pulling out from parking. It’s good to slow down when the road ahead seems to be bunching up and wait for the jam to clear up gradually.
Recognize the Blind Spots Around Your Car
Staying aware of the blind spots around your car is another safety rule to follow. The usual blind spots include the area behind the pillars and the back of the car. When you are moving in a reverse direction, changing lanes or coming out of parking, make sure to be extra cautious.
As you drive, you should look into the rear-view mirror and outside mirrors, while also keeping a watch on the approaching traffic from the sides. Ignoring the blind spots results in sudden but significant collisions hurting the car driver, the vehicles and pedestrians around.
You can even install blind-spot mirrors or sensors to keep an eye on these areas while driving through the Indian traffic.
To avoid collisions, you can keep enough distance from trucks, buses such that your car is visible to them from their rear-view mirror. Similarly, when in reverse gear, you can have a look behind and be particularly watchful of children playing or people standing. Defensive driving might be slow but is a must for safety.
Always remember, when you are on the road, reaching your destination is more important than the time taken to do so. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Use Motor Insurance
Usually what we see on Indian roads after a collision is that, either people start fighting each other and blaming for the damage, or simply flee the spot. You need not do either if you have motor insurance.
This plain fact is mostly ignored by even the most qualified Indian drivers, resulting in road rage and hit and run cases. Buy motor insurance, a comprehensive one and understand it’s benefits to avoid such situations.
Comprehensive motor insurance will not only protect you financially against third-party liability but will also cover damage to your own vehicle. Some benefits include:
– Coverage against any damage caused by vandalism
– Coverage against flood and fire damage
– Coverage in the event your car gets damaged by collision with animals
– Covers lawsuits, including legal fees brought against you as the result of an accident.