Following basic traffic rules and not getting distracted by the thrills of speed and the joys of music can help save lives. It was aRead more...
Hero MotoCorp’s latest initiative—Hero We Care—offers us a golden opportunity to practise road safety.
Remember driving past warning signs on highways that read, ‘Speed Thrills but it Kills’, or ‘It’s Better to be Mr Late than Late Mr’? You probably chuckled at how clichéd they sounded. However, the sobering reality is that India has one of the most dangerous roads and riders, a combination of which causes an alarming number of accidents every day. The quality of our roads and traffic isn’t exactly helping either. The Road Accident Report of 2017 revealed that about 79 car occupants lost their lives every day because they weren’t wearing seat belts and 98 two-wheeler riders died as they were not wearing helmets. The numbers don’t even record the number of life-threatening injuries and life-long disabilities that people have to suffer.
Bringing these facts into the limelight is Hero MotoCorp’s latest campaign, ‘Hero We Care’. The latter spreads awareness about road safety, and calls upon citizens to become a ‘Road Hero’ by pledging to always wear seat belts and helmets. A Road Hero is also the one who will be ready to help road accident victims.
Let’s take a cue from this campaign and promise to be more responsible on the road. Here are a few tips to help you in that direction.
1. Take care of your vehicle
The road to safety begins with ensuring that your vehicle is safe. Mark your calendars (or add phone alerts) to check whether your cars and bikes are functioning well. Maintenance is not a requirement just so that your vehicle performs better, but that when you’re driving it, it can ensure your as well as your fellow riders’ safety. Praveen Date, a 28-year-old banker from Pune, says, “For me to feel safe on my bike, I need to know that it is in its best condition. I take regular road trips to far-off places and love speed, but I treat my vehicle and the road under it with respect.”
2. Look before you leave
Thirty-five-year-old Shreya Lankesh, a schoolteacher based in Chennai, talks to her students about road safety regularly. “I urge them to talk to their parents about wearing seat belts, and not breaking traffic rules. If the instructions come from the children, then the parents are usually more likely to follow the rules,” she says. Whenever you are inside a car, ensure that all the passengers are belted up. Similarly, don’t get on a bike without a helmet.
3. Traffic rules are NOT meant to be broken
Yes, they aren’t. Pay attention to stop signs, zebra crossings, and traffic signals. Follow lane discipline like religion – think of how organized our roads will be if everyone stayed in their lanes. “I have a long commute to work,” says 45-year-old Meher Singh, who works as a researcher in Bangalore. “But I know that I need to be patient and follow traffic rules. If I don’t, how can I expect anyone else to?” In addition to road rules, make a habit of following driving etiquettes as well. Once you belt up, keep your phone away. Avoid using headphones, eating, or drinking.
4. Don’t drink and drive
It’s 2019, and with the ride-hailing industry booming, you don’t need to drive in an inebriated state. Also, don’t get into a car or on a bike with someone who insists ‘they’re fine’. “I’ve been in a car accident where I was with a driver who was under the influence. Thankfully, I escaped with just minor bruises. Now, whenever my friends and I go out, I insist that we take a cab or have someone be our designated driver,” says Shruti Sharma from Delhi.
5. Watch over other drivers
If you see someone suffering a road accident, it’s your duty to help. Save emergency numbers of hospitals and ambulances on your phone, and call for help right away. Also, note down number plates of irresponsible drivers, information about broken traffic signals, and condition of roads to convey them to traffic authorities. Like Mohit Bal from Bangalore says, “Although people don’t like being told how to drive, I try to be polite when I point out someone’s mistake. The idea is to not offend someone but just say that you would feel safer if that person was more careful.”
6. Don’t be callous
There is nothing cool about being a brash driver. Shed the image of how ‘fast and furious’ is cool and exciting, and periodically remind young people or your friends about this.
To become a Road Hero, SMS Hero