Since I was a child, I have always heard my grandpa teach me one thing religiously. While on the road, it’s a matter of a few seconds which can change your life. When we used to ask how, he used to say, “As soon as you step on the road, whether on foot or any other means, just consider that you are the only one who can see, everyone else is blind. So it’s up to you to be the responsible one, aware of the people around you. Do not rely on other’s driving for your own safety.” This advice has always stayed with me and indeed helped me to stay safe on roads.
As per a WHO survey, every day, 821 people die in road accidents. It is an alarming statistic! However, a little bit of caution and wisdom can save a life. Yes, the roads must be mended, traffic rules must be made stringent and first aid must be accessible on roads but it is equally necessary that we keep our ears and eyes open. After all, anyone can save you only if you wish to be saved. If everyone is careful and responsible for their own autonomy while on the road, a lot can change.
Once when I was walking home with my elder sister, she taught me an important lesson – the lesson of waiting. Waiting for the right time. We were at the traffic signal watching vehicles zooming past us at full speed. After a few seconds, just before the changing of traffic lights, I saw a small section of the road empty and tried crossing it. It was at the very last moment that my sister pulled me back when a bike that I had missed, almost hit me.
She was angry but later explained, “When just a few seconds are left for the light to turn red again, the vehicles are hysterically trying to cross the signal, to avoid having to wait for another minute on the signal. Therefore, at that time, it is wiser to wait for a few more seconds, than to challenge their control on the vehicle and your destiny. It can be dangerous. A minute of patience can save your life.” Her lines still reverberate in my ears whenever I am crossing roads.
This is a piece of very simple advice, probably one which is taught to kids in kindergarten. But the loopholes lie in its implementation and execution. In the haste of life, of reaching everywhere on time, in the ‘bhaga daudi’ (running around), we keep our life on stake, only to regret it later.
These are some effortless things that have a significant role in reducing the number of deaths caused by road accidents but alas, we ignore them! This is how we can prevent mishaps:
It is easy to blame the authorities for bad roads, accidents, and injuries. For a moment, you can even punish the driver who has hit you, but in the long run, only you can save yourself. Be careful!