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Old 16th February 2021, 12:14   #16
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

These issues are going nowhere and will not be resolved in next 50 years or so in India. The people who make rules have no clue. None of them drive to their offices, they are all chauffeured. People who issue licenses are not serious enough about testing the real world driving skills. Highway contractors make silly mistakes in road signage, marking and what not. Designers are not qualified enough to design infrastructure for today and tomorrow. Most of the public works department architects and engineers got degrees 30 years back and have never updated their skills after that. Manufacturers are provided really sloppy safety requirements for their cars, which they meet fully.

Root cause of all this is social and not scientific. As long as we as consumers and members of society do not change there can be no improvements possible.
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Old 16th February 2021, 16:02   #17
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

We have 17,5% of the world's population. China and India alone contribute to 36%. The next biggest nation is the USA with 4.5%. As much as it saddens me to say this, and as much as I say with a heavy heart that I lost 3 close friends due to road accidents in the last 16 years, there are going to be more people dying in India and China than anywhere else. And two of them died for no fault of theirs.

The point of my post is to illustrate the extent to which we are aware of our own unsafe driving practices and how much we underestimate our own driving ability. There is nothing wrong with telling a friend, I can't drive today evening as I am tired. Or I have to drive tomorrow morning, let me not drink tonight. Or late evenings and long drives make us droopy and increase our reaction time. And all of this has a direct influence on this 11%.

I have had sufficient closure to talk about it without it tearying my eyes. I don't have any issues talking about it. I will post the gist of the accident and is based on stories from witnesses and/or parents and/or people whom I knew were there at the time of the accidents.

Friend 1: March 2003
I was 16 years old. Studying 11th. My school senior had just joined college and was a good friend of mine. He had a Bajaj Sapphire. It was considered fast by 2003 standards tbh. The traffic was also sparse considering 2020 standards. There were traffic jams within the city. But it was still manageable I would say.

He flunked his Maths-1 in his first semester and had to go to tuitions in his 2nd semester. His daily routine was get up at 4.30 am, go to tuitions, attend college until 5 pm, play some games, come back home and have dinner and go to sleep by 11 or 1130. Rinse and repeat.

On the day of the accident, it was a Sunday. He had planned a trip to a nearby town about 200kms away. He got up, did his routine and drove with another friend to this place. I don't want to name the places as it is a route still preferred by day riders North of Chennai. He started, went there and caught up with someone he knew for lunch, stayed there until 6 pm and started driving back. It started to drizzle. Long monotonous drive, less sleep and an über active lifestyle. All he had to do was give the bike to his friend and continue the journey at albeit a reduced pace because of the drizzle. He sadly rear-ended a parked Matador/Tempo while overtaking from the left side at around 8.30 pm shortly before Chennai. Both of them were wearing helmets. Sadly he lost his life while the pillion survived.

Now you may ask, why did he overtake from the left side. Sure it was a mistake. But I can ask why did he think he could overtake from the left side? Wouldnt that be considered a lack of driving discipline? A momentary lapse of judgement? Why was the other vehicle parked on the highway? What would've happened if he was aware of his situation and gave the bike to his friend to drive? What does it say about our self-awareness, self-evaluation and self-discipline when it comes to driving?

Friend 2: June 2006
This one is straight forward. Another friend went out to buy stationeries. As he stepped out of the shop, an auto driver, piss drunk, slammed into him. His head hit the pavement and he died on the spot. At 9 pm, I must add.

What does it say about the capability of the auto driver to drive when he was drunk? Why did he prioritise the due payment instead of driving unfit? Why did he think drinking would make the problems go away? Why didn't anyone stop him from getting into the driver's seat when he was clearly unfit? Why did he get into the driver's seat when he was unfit? Clearly an overestimation of his capabilities as he was probably going home.

Friend 3: December 2012
This one affected me the most. Probably because I was way more mature than I was in other situations. I was growing to be a more mature driver and becoming more aware of when I was fit to drive and when I was unfit to drive ---> Most important of all, I wasn't ashamed of accepting this in a public setting. I would rather face the ridicule of 10 people and be a self-aware driver than kill 1 person by being self-unaware. My friends who have ridiculed me over this, have immediately shut up when I point this out.

Anywho... This friend drove a Karizma and was on a business trip outside Delhi. I have only been to Dehli during the Auto Expo, stayed in hotels and took the Metro to Pragathi Maidan. And all of that was pre-2008. So I am not really a judge of the road conditions and traffic discipline in the greater Delhi region. Also, I am not going to comment on whose fault it was or who should be at fault. Things happened and my friend died. That's all.

What happens next, is all based on FIR reports. It was about 1 am when he was driving back home from a business meeting. The roads were free and he drove a Karizma. Enter a herd of cows, being reared by a local farmer, onto a highway known for its lorry traffic. He swerves hard, braking hard and nearly missing the horns of the first cow. He loses control, of the bike, crashes into a bed kept outside a Dhaba where people were apparently sleeping, flies 20 feet, falls down and a stone pierces his lung/diaphragm region causing internal bleeding. Externally no issues. Internally, gone, Finito. Kaputt. An ambulance is called, he arrives alive but unconscious. Doctors declared him dead after 2 days.

Now, in all the three cases, you can pinpoint a lot of "Where it went wrong" and say, it went wrong here. It went wrong there. They shouldn't have done this. They shouldn't have done that. But we have to remember this. We are in this together. What affects me, might affect you. And what affects you, could affect me --> If we are not aware of our own limitations and are too chicken to accept it. This is not a competition of who is a better driver. Its a question of who is a safer driver and to put it bluntly, the most defensive driver, is the safest driver because he/she doesn't want to risk anything. They would rather arrive 10 mins late and safe than take a chance with death and arrive 5 mins early.

- Driving education has to improve leaps and bounds. We are still in the stone age compared to other developing nations around the world. Our education has to teach a driver not only how to shift gears and drive but also how to self-diagnose, become self-aware and self-discipline. Also where to anticipate dangers and where to be extra attentive. An extension of this is understanding and being aware of the limitations of our vehicle. We don't think that enough IMHO. We have seen posts on here where test-drive vehicles were over sped, resulting in an accident. Another example is driving with high beams, fog lamps inside the city and highway. All of this boils down to awareness and education.

- Infrastructure has to improve. Parking at a no-parking spot on the highway, or around the bends, or preventing farmers from rearing their cattle in highways. None of this would be solved without dedicated parking spots, adequate marking and overbridge where necessary. I am merely naming examples from my cases. I am sure there are a gazillion examples that we can point out as a way of infrastructure improvement.

With just these two improvements, all the unwanted "driver vs vehicle vs infrastructure" type of accidents would reduce drastically. Because a driver is aware of himself, his vehicle and the infrastructure. A farmer is aware of the perils of highways and infrastructure when he crosses his cows or goats illegally. The intermingling element of complexity between them is removed. What's remaining is the vehicle themselves --> That's where NCAP and IEEE protocols kick in.

Which is why I mentioned in the other thread. We don't need GNCAP now. It's a nice feature to have in 2020/2021 and it is bloody important to spread awareness about it. But what we need is a safer form of mobility encompassing everything from education, infrastructure and safety (active and passive). Without one, the other two becomes less effective. And talking about safety, they are only important either to reduce the incidence of an accident or reduce the impact of an accident. They would matter less if the origin of the source of the accident, is removed altogether which is only possible through stringent lobbying to improve driving education and develop mobility infrastructure.

Last edited by VaidhiR : 16th February 2021 at 16:07. Reason: Reorganise 1 paragraph.
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Old 16th February 2021, 20:04   #18
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

I have maintained this amongst all my friends and relatives that India has terrible and uneducated drivers. Safety is not even a concern for most people out there, it is just an afterthought. Driving and riding fast and unsafe is taken as a symbol of machoism!

Some things which I think can be improved:

1. Move the RTO from State to Central control. People who don't know how to drive, have no idea of rules can get license with as little as 500 bucks. It is a tough ask, but imperative if we ever have to change the pathetic RTOs.

2. Insurance charges should reflect the number of driving violations like drunken driving, rash/over speeding. That way, we can be sure that the more terrible the driver you are, the more chances of you paying more.

3. Provide avenues for letting off steam: Have more racetracks, encourage the use of them to satisfy your senses. The more safe avenues to rip or test your cornering skills, the better the chances that, they don't overspeed or drive rash on highways.

4. Set an example by making a good safety rating, mandatory for providing government vehicles. Safe vehicles are available today starting from 5 lakhs, and most govt vehicles are more expensive than that!

5. Start fining for indicators/brake lights not working. These are extremely important, as low visibility is a major killer.

6. Provide parking slots/lay bye at every 2-3 kms on NH and expressways. I am sure the cost will be less than the GDP loss of 3% a year!

7. Someone please stop new movies from showing the heroes riding bikes without helmets! Big fan of Telegu movies, but whenever they have to show a hero riding, he will be sans helmet! They are setting an example of looking cool without all the safety equipment!
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Old 16th February 2021, 22:09   #19
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

Originally Posted by Turbohead View Post
... The real issue IMO is the lack of training and testing given to our drivers.....
Originally Posted by RavSam View Post
1. How people walk in the middle of the road, ... How bikers freely ride cutting across everything ...How people throwing stuff from other vehicles ... always on High-beam ...How everyone is so reluctant to wear a seat-belt.. where people, ...don't give two hoots about an approaching car!
Originally Posted by DicKy View Post
..chalta he attitude .....- Auto-rickshaws and taxis slow down to pick up their fare... Bus drivers .. drive in the middle of the road straddling two lanes. Cars try to stick to either lanes, ... Motorcycles try to fill all the gaps in this mess... Jaywalking pedestrians
Originally Posted by TrackDay View Post
.....most can be avoided by maintaining a composed driving / riding style. If everyone on the road from 2 / 3 wheelers to car to buses, trucks and pedestrians practice discipline and a presence of mind, that fatality percentage can be brought down significantly.
Originally Posted by jpcoolguy View Post
In my view, the driver education is the most important thing that could prevent or reduce the road accidents in India.

- Lack of understanding of traffic signs along the roads.
- People don't know when not to overtake, when not to speed, ... These are part of driver education in the western world where people do it religiously to receive the driver license....

- Most of the people do not know the right time to change the car/bike tyres.
- Filling up of air in petrol pumps after a long drive/ride which is highly dangerous.
Majority of the people using our roads, be it 4 wheeler drivers 2 wheeler riders, pedestrians, passengers are absolutely ignorant of safety aspects and road rules.

Ignorance is the strong reason behind people breaking rules and doing all the road behavior mentioned in the posts quoted above.

If we have to mature as a society wrt., following road rules and being aware of the consequences of our actions and prioritizing safety practices, people have to be educated on safety aspects and road rules from a young age.

Road users are not limited to just drivers, its the whole ecosystem. Safety practices is everybody's responsibility and only through awareness can this be achieved, slowly but surely our safe practices can improve over time.
1) We need to have a subject on safety awareness, safe practices and road rules atleast as part of the high school curriculum. High time our education system got more practical.
2) Qualifying tests and clear demonstration of traffic rules to get a driver's license should become absolutely stringent.
3) People flouting road rules repeatedly should be penalized by revoking their driver's license and made to go through point #2 mentioned above to get their license back.

Last edited by for_cars1 : 16th February 2021 at 22:21.
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Old 17th February 2021, 03:32   #20
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

Bikers, auto rickshaw drivers and pedestrians are the main culprits for accidents.
They have absolutely no lane discipline.
1. Bikers and rickshaws cutting through wrong side, over taking like a go kart, traveling at 30kmph on fast lanes on highway.
In case of an accident, Only a car driver falls in trouble, from cancellation of the licence, court, FIR, and what not.
2. Pedestrians - waiting to cross the road , they keep walking on the same direction wherever they want to go. And guess where do they walk ? On the lane right next to divider.
Their mind be like - if I die, you go to jail. I am the smaller one.
So is their brain.
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Old 17th February 2021, 09:26   #21
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

So, I got my first traffic ticket (for overspeeding) in India about a month back (third overall, got ticketed twice in US before) in about 10 years and 150,000kms of driving in India. I was travelling from Nashik to Pune (via NH 60) and the incident happened somewhere near Sangamner in Maharashtra at what is called as Traffic Aid Post (TAP) set up by Highway police in Maharashtra.

Now I know I broke a rule and am okay to pay the required fine. The ticket says (a very sharp picture with my number plate clearly seen) I was driving at 90kmph, but doesnt say what is the speed limit on that stretch of road. I looked up various government websites, press releases, circulars, notifications and couldn't figure out what speed limit I should have been driving under.

So, even after getting ticketed, paying a fine, I am none the wiser. And here lies a part of the problem. There is zero education! A very effective way educating commuters would have been having speed limits prominently displayed on the road. Worst case, it could have been displayed on the ticket.
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Old 17th February 2021, 09:50   #22
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

Frankly speaking I am not surprised.
As a Punekar I am very well aware since childhood, about the total lack of traffic discipline. In fact once we even used to joke "Anyone who can drive in Pune without any accident, can drive anywhere in the world"

As I started driving out of Pune or out of Maharashtra, I realised, this phenomenon is not unique to Pune. The whole country is full of blithering idiots who can't be bothered to follow traffic laws.

We are a nation of various peoples, with different languages, cultures, religions, apparel and food habits. But the glue which holds us together is this stupidity.

I have given up thinking about it. I am too old to expect things will improve. Hopefully the younger generation live to see the day where road accidents go down drastically.
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Old 17th February 2021, 10:23   #23
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

Originally Posted by k10_nag View Post
Refer to the fatality rates worldwide in the map below (®ion=World ).
what does "people" in the "per 100000 people" , refer to :
a) the population
b) total vehicle owners

If (a), a country where car ownership has deep penetration, will show up worse compared to other countries where penetration is low.
If (b), a country where car ownership has shallow penetration, will show up better than what the real death % actually is.

Either way, scandinavian countries (norway, sweden, finland) are doing really well, in terms of this death % statistic. Expected, from countries where volvos, scanias, saabs etc rule the roost.

Last edited by venkyhere : 17th February 2021 at 10:26.
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Old 17th February 2021, 10:29   #24
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

It is sad to see all the blame falling on bad roads, lack of signs etc., as if we all drive like saints on a well maintained road. The public simply does not care for themselves or others and are so hell bent on bringing out all their aggression out on the road, without a doubt. A few seconds or minutes will do nothing to improve their own lives but they are willing to risk their lives to shave off those few minutes and end up killing themselves and others.
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Old 17th February 2021, 10:41   #25
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

Apart from government and police reluctance to implement their rules strictly I would also put the onus of deaths on doctors. What I have seen over the years in various parts of the country is that rural Phc's and tier 3 and tier 4 city hospital doctors do not follow protocol. They do one and only one thing and that is to refer accident patients to big hospitals situated in capitals or tier 2 cities. This takes anywhere near 3-4 hours and patients often die in transit.

Mind you it is not that those hospitals are not well equiped but every district hospitals and sub dibision hospitals have minimum 3 doctors on duty as per regulations. 1. General physician, 2. General surgeon and 3. Dentist. Plus there are many private hospitals also present in those smaller towns but they do not admit the victims and generally refer them to bigger government hospitals. The apathy from government doctors are mind blowing.
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Old 17th February 2021, 11:17   #26
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

I am not surprised, but I am worried now. No it's not about the things that are coming to your mind now. This can come as a reality in near future. Taking this study into consideration, the government may introduce a road safety/ vehicle safety 'special' cess added to the fuel and vehicle purchases. I know, now you are also worried, and you don't seem to be thinking 'what an utter nonsense he is talking'. Looks like I could read your minds

Note: the above comment may seem as a troll at first, but if you can think over it for sometime, you may find it as a genuine concern.
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Old 17th February 2021, 11:36   #27
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

Peer pressure is weird thing in India too.

I usually drive safe and keep distance between cars - enough for few bike riders to squeeze in. My family gets absolutely mad at that.
My passengers tell me to honk at every turn.
Friends tell me to flash my lights from behind so that cars move.
People even tell me to get off the road and overtake since I drive a Thar.

BUT No one blinks an eye if seat belts are not worn. No tells me to buckle up.
No one tells me to use low beam.
No one tells me to not honk.

How do we change the driving conditions without having some kind of revolution on the masses.
One or two good drivers in a sea of crazies just makes those one or two to go crazy too.
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Old 17th February 2021, 12:36   #28
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

This statistic is hardly surprising given our callous and indifference towards any form of discipline or regulation- be it driving or queuing up at the airport or at a buffet table even.
‘Me always first’ is an ingrained mindset and I dare say it will take an entire generation or two of brainwashing to correct this.

Traffic indiscipline is only a symptom- the real malaise is our attitude of putting self-benefit before greater common good.

I agree with most opinions here that enhancement in education, penalties and infrastructure should improve things but change in mindset will be much more tougher.

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Old 17th February 2021, 12:39   #29
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

If the insurance company picks up the slack for bad driving, accidents and people dying, they should be the ones making sure that the drivers they are covering are good, defensive and law abiding.

The change which will bring about the most change in this statistic is if Driving license start getting issued by Insurance companies and not the RTO. All traffic violations get linked to the driving license, so the insurance company knows about your history. Insurance companies can tailor the trainings and tests as per their standards and choose to serve only customers they deem fit.

Benefits are many, starting from:
1. Valid insurance - Valid license. No insurance - No license.
2. Insurance company gets to control the quality of driver they choose to insure.
3. Insurance company gets to penalize (by increasing premiums) of drivers with bad history / no history / poor driving test scores.
4. Insurance company gets to incentivise good behaviour (by reducing premiums) of drivers with good history / excellent driving test scores.
5. Incentive to automakers to provide self-drive capabilities to drive down insurance premiums for their vehicles.

There are cons, however:
1. Your history can be considered poor immediately after an accident. Leading to increased premiums from the subsequent year.
2. New drivers can have high premiums since they do not have a history (like CIBIL Scores). This can lead to fewer people intending to drive and less overall car/bike sales to new customers, at least during early years, when it is easier to learn to drive.
3. Increased average age of new drivers because of higher premiums on people who are less capable of paying it.

Last edited by antz.bin : 17th February 2021 at 12:40.
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Old 17th February 2021, 13:09   #30
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Default Re: India tops the world with 11% of global road accident deaths

I feel lack of awareness, carelessness and irresponsibility is the major contribution for accidents in India. People here are just not bothered about rules or don't have basic common sense while commuting, be it pedestrian, two wheeler riders, car drivers or anyone.

Its not fair to blame government or authorities alone for this situation. Of course corruption, RTO processes is lot left to be desired and I don't think it will improve any sooner.

Its like survival of the fittest on the streets here. Many time I fail to understand what is in the minds of people who cause jams/ gridlocks unnecessarily. just waiting for less than a minute can solve all the issues. eg: near railway crossing, people will queue up on wrong side of the road, literally blocking the traffic which comes from other side causing long jams which will take ages to clear up while if they had waited or queued up in a single lane it would be cleared in a jiffy.

Pedestrian crossing on highways -I have seen people jumping the long fences to cross the road but will never use the skywalk which is few meters away on Nelamanagala Express way. I dare not cross this junction at high speeds.

On an another note which may seem silly we have a pact among our friends, when we are travelling together, if any of us breaks the rules say liking jumping signal, not wearing seatbelts, crossing lanes, littering on streets etc., that person will have to treat everyone else that day. This ensured to curb our stupid instincts multiple times and we became better drivers over time
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