KARACHI: Road accidents are a leading cause of death. Whether you’re on the road at home or abroad, know the risks, get the facts, and take steps to protect your health and safety. There are almost numerous of people who get injured and die in road accidents because they are not taking safety precautions. Each year 1.35 million people are killed on roadways around the world. Each day, almost 3,700 people are killed globally in road traffic crashes involving cars, buses, motorcycles, bicycles, trucks. Developing countries bear a large share of the burden, accounting for 85 per cent of annual deaths and 90 per cent of disabilities of various types every year. Since road traffic injuries affect mainly males (73 per cent of deaths) and those between 15 and 44 years of age, this burden is creating enormous economic hardships. Rather than mechanical, it is the human factor that also contributes significantly to increasing numbers of road accidents. Drunken drivers are the major causes of road traffic accidents especially among commercial vehicle drivers on highways. Over-speeding is also the major cause that increases the probability of fatal injuries for car occupants from near 0 to almost 100% as the change of speed during the impact increases from 20 kilometres per hour to 100 kilometres per hour.
Some safety precautions that we should follow is to always use a seat belt on every trip, no matter how short. Be sure to buckle up whether you are in the front seat or the back seat of the vehicle. Always wear a helmet when driving or riding on motorcycles, do not drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Obey speed limits. Drive without distractions. For example, don’t use a cell phone or texting while driving. The government should also try to strictly enforce traffic rules. Road accidents can be reduced if traffic rules are observed. We should all drive like responsible citizens.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2019.