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Old 4th July 2010, 14:27   #1
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Default Most deaths in Indian roads are due to drivers with poor skills

Here's something I read in ToI today. Finally the fact makes to print that most of our drivers don't know how to drive safe and various other factors that go in to making roads of India the most unsafe place!

Driver errors cause most road deaths in India: Report - India - The Times of India

So what say fellow bhpians?
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Old 4th July 2010, 17:22   #2
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There is reason for our drivers not knowing how to drive safe. Licenses are issued to everyone and anyone above the legal age limit. So it has become more like a norm in our country to issue licenses after crossing a particular age.
I have a colleague working with me who is cramming the DMV website here and practicing the 'Y' maneuverability to death. I was disgusted when he told me that he got his 2 and 4 wheeler license in AP (Amlapuram) without appearing for the test. Later on when he moved to Banaglore when he got to know an onsite opportunity is on the cards, he joined a motor driving school and got to know the basics of driving. But he is a sane driver, and I am surprised on how well he drives considering his age as a driver.
Here in driving trials you knock down a cone and thats that! Go home.

Next is we need better infrastucture and good road signs assisting the driver what to do and how fast/slow he should be driving.

Most of all there should be a will to respect the driving rules and respect other fellow road users. Even here in the US, I sometimes feel the urge to rip the Lincon MKS or the Hummer on the freeways, but when I see people following rules and someone may get hurt because of my irresponsible behaviour or someone calls road side assitance or dials 911 stating my vehicle number and ethnic origin then boss I better drive responsibly.

There are many factors that will lead to safer roads.

1) Better quality of roads (No corruption in contract bookings and tendors, I'd give every road to Punj Llyod )
2) Honest and willing to penalise felons w/o accepting bribes.
3) Eagerness to follow rules and respect the law.

Joining the army and paying taxes alone doesn't make you a patrioit. You have to respect the constitution and abide by it.

Lastly, I am reminded of a sign board (many of them actually) on the HYD-BLR trip which said, and many would agree, 'The state of the roads, shows the countries' culture'. Jai Hind.

Last edited by prince_pervez : 4th July 2010 at 17:24.
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Old 4th July 2010, 20:45   #3
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The conclusions in the report are all bunkum. Looks like someone read up the police station reports about accidents and wrote the report, and not based on any factual or realistic findings.
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Old 4th July 2010, 21:32   #4
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Two cases with me where the driver could not be at fault but still a crash could have taken place:

1. Driving on the NH46 between Ambur and Vaniyambadi - went over a flyover and when I came down at quite some speed, I see one person waving a flag and asking me to take a right onto the oncoming traffic - the road split there temporarily for road repairs. Screech! Just escaped in the nick-of-time. Here its a clear case of no warning boards or early indication. Heart still pumping heavily after the right turn. Its just not done I feel!

2. Cattle jumping in front of you from behind the median bushes from on the NH4. Screech again!
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Old 4th July 2010, 22:58   #5
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@Jeevmenon - +1000000
Actually the mistakes lies both on bad drivers/riders, as well as with the entire transportation system. Like Prince says, everything begins at driving school & RTO. If things start tightening up there, we can see improvements on road. IMO, the entire system has gone beyond repair, sorry if I'm sounding pesimisstic, but that is what I feel.

Incident to narrate - Yesterday, I see a group of 3 people right in middle of the street entrance on a cycle & talking; they don't move despite my Activa's OE horn; though my blood boils, I'm keeping it cool & take extreme right & try to get on the main road; suddenly a two-wheeler from main road enters into the street; both of us notice in time & we save each other. I couldn't control anymore; I go back to those guys, raise my voice & ask them to move aside of the road or go home to talk; those guys instead tell me that I riding fast (standard dialogue). We exchange few heated words & then I move on.

What left me thinking is, these guys cannot understand that road is meant for vehicles to travel & one cannot stand in the middle of the road to talk; why they cannot move to a side walk & keep talking over there?

IMO, it will take 2-3 generations for this attitude to change with people, provided stictest possible measures are taken now. But, is this possible?
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Old 5th July 2010, 01:26   #6
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This article is a clear example of misrepresentation of facts. For example, It does not tell the class of vehicles or drivers involved in the accidents. Also an accident is a culmination of many events. A single factor cannot be attributed to an accident. For example, if you swerve to avoid a cyclist cutting from the right and run over a drunken man on the left side of the road, it still would be considered driver error. The drunken man was not on the road and the cyclist is not involved in the accident.
In a stretch of 100kms, maybe 20km was gutted roads under construction, you try to make up time in the remaining 80 km. An accident then would still be due to driver error.
A lorry driven by an underage cleaner kills someone. driver absconds. the accident is attributed to driver error.
In my experience, drivers especially of non commercial vehicles are very aware of the capability of their skill and the vehicle they are driving. They tend to be very safe. I think that the statistics are just provided to mislead the general public.
Conspiracy theory: Maybe something to do with the recent price hike. Perhaps something big in the offing.
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Old 5th July 2010, 04:33   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildsdi5530 View Post
Conspiracy theory: Maybe something to do with the recent price hike. Perhaps something big in the offing.
I hope it has something to do with restricting the lisences issued to improper/unfit drivers. That'll be welcome anyday.
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Old 5th July 2010, 23:21   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
I hope it has something to do with restricting the lisences issued to improper/unfit drivers. That'll be welcome anyday.
Unlikely. Since issuing licences is a local affair with cash flow to a few local people only.
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Old 5th July 2010, 23:30   #9
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The number of unskilled drivers in our country is too high but it is amazing how majority of them lives their life without a single accident in their life - thanks to our road transportation system in which everything is so unpredictable.
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Old 6th July 2010, 09:11   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
The number of unskilled drivers in our country is too high but it is amazing how majority of them lives their life without a single accident in their life - thanks to our road transportation system in which everything is so unpredictable.
The unskilled drivers rarely get into any accidents. But they make the other fellow drivers on the road get into accidents because of their driving skills.
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Old 6th July 2010, 09:47   #11
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Majority of drivers rate themselves to have good or excellent driving skills where as in reality most of them are just average drivers (including myself). This over confidence creates an unnecessary sense of safety in their ability and they push the limit to end up in an accident.

The severity of injuries or result in death in India is because of lack of adequate driver training, inadequate law enforcement, inadequate infrastructure and warnings/boards to make the driver aware of driving conditions (i.e., speed bumps, sharp turn etc).

I am not trying to be a pessimist but the truth of the fact is that these things really are not provided or available in India as we need them.

The cars sold in India do not feature the same life saving equipment as standard fitment like in other parts of the world and in most cases when it is there people fail to use it accordingly. The government puts lot of tax on automobile sales and regulates this taxing based on several factors like engine capacity, length and width etc but they fail to mandate things such as VSC, ABS, airbags etc! I guess the overpopulation in India has given the idea that lives are expendable!

As a lot of you have mentioned driving license seems to be taken as right by all those who reach the required age, when in reality it is a privilege!

One good thing that can come out of the recent price hike for fuel is that there will be lesser drivers on the road and even those on road will limit their driving, which will result in fewer accidents, lesser lives lost.

Last edited by dr_know : 6th July 2010 at 09:49.
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Old 6th July 2010, 10:02   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
I have a colleague working with me who is cramming the DMV website here and practicing the 'Y' maneuverability to death.
Here in driving trials you knock down a cone and thats that! Go home.
Yes. People "read" to pass test in there. But here? Leave it, we all know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
The conclusions in the report are all bunkum. Looks like someone read up the police station reports about accidents and wrote the report, and not based on any factual or realistic findings.
+100.

Why? Because, any accident happened is counted towards the driver only. If police sees no reason, or not to get a answer, it automatically goes on the head of the driver. So, obviously it would be of higher % only.

Quote:
The data also shows that as far as “driver’s fault’’ was concerned, in India driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs was a much smaller killer (only 6% of fatalities) than speeding (49% of deaths).
The report says the % of drunk and drive causing the accident is much lesser.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_know View Post
One good thing that can come out of the recent price hike for fuel is that there will be lesser drivers on the road and even those on road will limit their driving, which will result in fewer accidents, lesser lives lost.
Hmm, do you think so? Me thinks different.

If that was the case, we should only see a decrease in the auto industries. But on the other hand what we see is saying opposite. Just compare the figure and fuel price in last 10 years.

Last edited by mjothi : 6th July 2010 at 10:04.
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Old 6th July 2010, 10:28   #13
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Worried by the number of people killed on roads, especially in the developing world, the UN has asked governments to compile a data on accidents in a format developed under its Asia-Pacific Road Accident Database project. The project tries to understand the reasons behind fatal road accidents in a particular country and then get cits government to tackle them.
This certainly is the easiest way out for the government. Blame it on the non-law-abiding citizens. 'You know, there is very little we can do to make them follow law.'

Quote:
in India driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs was a much smaller killer (only 6% of fatalities) than speeding (49% of deaths). This is in contrast to much of the developed world where alcohol is a leading cause of death on roads.
Quote:
2009 UN report says that 90% of the world’s accidents take place in low income and middle income countries where drivers are poorly trained, roads are not well planned and law enforcement is lax.
Are drivers in developed countries trained to drive under the influence of alcohol?

And yes. Driver is always at fault in countries like India. Always.

1. You are doing 100 kmph on a highway and a pedestrian runs across the street to get to the other side of the road. (I have faced this situation twice. My BIL rammed his bike into a cyclist crossing the road in similar fashion)

2. The absence of basic infrastructure on highways with nonexistent road dividers.

3. In cities, pedestrians walking on the road instead of the foot path.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
1) Better quality of roads (No corruption in contract bookings and tendors, I'd give every road to Punj Llyod)
With four lanes and properly positioned road dividers.

2) Honest and willing to penalise felons w/o accepting bribes.
Without accepting bribes? You gotta be kidding pervez.

3) Eagerness to follow rules and respect the law.
I will say this is developing, bit by bit.
And I don't know how many of us have experienced/ gone thru these accident FIR proceedings? I have. On several occasions.

And in one of the cases, the hawaldar wanted to understand what happened on the site from the police station itself. He wanted me to draw the map of the location and narrate what exactly happened. (I was not the culprit, I was there with the vicitim to support him).

Last edited by prateek99 : 6th July 2010 at 10:32.
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Old 6th July 2010, 10:42   #14
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Absence of basic safety measures on our roads and zero common sense of pedestrians contribute equally.
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Old 6th July 2010, 14:42   #15
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I would expect driver error to be the lowest percentage. Most drivers are very conservative in their driving habits.
With car prices more than 2 years salary and poor insurance support, no one is willing to risk damage to the car. Indian mentality is 'No problem if i get hurt, but my car shouldn't get a scratch'.
Even guys who rough use their cars cry at the smallest scratch. This guy may drive very fast over gutted roads but the moment he anticipates danger to the visible body of the car, he slows down.
On the other hand pedestrians have a death wish. Even worse in rural side.
The percentage of underage drivers and reckless drivers (not fast drivers) must be very low.
Of course accidents also happen due to poor road conditions where you have to concentrate on the road rather than other drivers around you.
lack of adequate driver training is compensated by greed and fear of car damage.
inadequate law enforcement, inadequate infrastructure and warnings/boards to make the driver aware of driving conditions may have been the picture 10 years back. Personally I think India has one of the best road systems in the world
There is room for improvement in pedestrian education. Perhaps a walker licence with improvement badges for crossing the road, for jay walking, etc.
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