According to statistics in the recently released report titled Accidental Death and Suicides in India (ADSI 2011), prepared by the National Crime Records Bureau, Chennai has recorded the highest number of road accidents at a staggering 9,845 cases in the year 2011.
Followed by Chennai is Delhi, distant second with 6,065 road accidents, while Bangalore clocked 6,031.The statistics in the report also point out that motorists need to be more vigilant during the dark hours and not resort to rash or drunken driving. The largest number of accidents occurs between 9 pm and midnight (1,626), while the period between 3 pm and 6pm comes close (1,614). Accidents were also highest in the seven-month period between March and September. Source: IBN Live)
In such conditions, small precautions taken in the rainy season can go a long way in leading a safe life. Smart Motorist offers the following suggestions for safer driving in wet weather. In stormy conditions, it is more difficult to see other vehicles, road signs and the road itself. Hence, it is critical to make sure you can see and be seen.
· First and foremost: slow down! It takes longer to stop or adjust in wet
· Stay toward the middle lanes - water tends to pool in the outside lanes.
· Maintain proper distance (3 Second Rule), this needs to be increased in
· Drive in the tracks of a car ahead of you.
· Don't follow large trucks or buses too closely. The spray created by their
large tires reduces your vision.
Take care when passing them as well; if you must pass, do so quickly
· Be more alert when driving in wet or slippery conditions. Watch out for
brake lights in front of you.
· Avoid using your brakes; if possible, take your foot off the accelerator to
· Turn your headlights on even in a light rain, or in gloomy, foggy or
overcast conditions. Not only do they
help you see the road, but they'll help other drivers see you. If your car
has daytime running lights you still should put them on, so vehicles
behind you can see you better.
· Before it starts to rain, replace old or brittle wipers.
· Never drive beyond the limits of visibility. At night rainy roads become
especially treacherous. The glare of oncoming lights, amplified by the rain
on your windscreen, can cause temporary loss of visibility while
substantially increasing driver fatigue. In rainy conditions pedestrians,
livestock, and wildlife are extremely hard to spot and even harder to avoid.
· Never drive through moving water if you can't see the ground through it;
your car could be swept off the road.
· Avoid splashing pedestrians.
· Foggy windows - Rain or high humidity can quickly cause windows to
mist up inside the car. In a car equipped with air conditioning, turn up the
heat and direct the airflow to your defrosters with the AC switch engaged.
· In case of the breakdown ensure to call the toll/helpline number displayed on the highway
Last but not the least - Slow down! This should be obvious but it also very important. People are so used to driving certain speeds on certain roads that sometimes they forget the need to slow down when inclement weather presents itself.
The author Dr. Vijay Kumar Reddy is an expert and veteran in Emergency Medical Respons Services & is the Head –Pre Hospital Care of Ziqitza Health Care Limited, pioneer in the field of Emergency Medical Services.