Essay on Road Safety
Road accidents have been and will continue to be one of the greatest health hazards. Statistically, it has been shown that the number of death and injuries due to road accidents has been steadily increased within the past five years. In 2002, drivers accounted for 32% of persons killed in Trinidad and Tobago. Fatalities and injuries within the past two years have exceeded other years by a vast number. It has now reached a grand total of 199 in 2002, significantly greater than its total, five or six years ago.
Why must road accidents in Trinidad be considered a norm? There are many causes of road accidents but, personally, I think the most important factor which contributes to road accidents is the irresponsibility of the drivers. Driving an automobile is a privilege, which many people succeed to abuse. Anything that may impair one’s ability to make wise decisions should never be mixed with driving. This is when a driver should practice “social responsibility.”
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Drivers must at all times, abide by the safety regulations of the road and most importantly stick to the speed limits or stick to a speed which will allow one to stop within a safe distance. Drivers must, most importantly, take responsibility for themselves at all times. By this I mean, they must know that they should not drive if they feel tired, sick, drunk or upset. They must also ensure that the appropriate eye wear or hearing aid be worn if necessary. Patience is a quality in which drivers must exercise. They must be cautious especially on wet roads, pedestrian crossings and junctions.
Typical examples of drivers practicing unsafe habits are, drivers who cut people off in traffic or attempt to run out the amber traffic light. Another example of this occurs when drivers don’t give the right of way to anyone especially when coming when coming onto highways or going around a round-about or even by giving the pedestrians the right of way at a pedestrian crossing. All of these things contribute to a driver’s “social responsibility.
Driver distraction and inattention are important driving safety issues. Within the past five years, the use of in-vehicle technologies for example the cell phone and the pager, became more popular. The cell phone, primarily, causes a concern about a concomitant increase in driver distraction. Billboards and artifacts from roadsides also contribute greatly to the distraction.
Drivers however are not the only ones to be blamed. Pedestrians have traditionally accounted for many deaths on the road. During the past five years, pedestrians have accounted for at least 30% of road accidents. Pedestrians must, at all times, walk on walkways and cross the main roads and highways with extreme caution always giving the right of way to cars approaching.
Even if a driver is responsible and cautious, who is to blame if an accident still occurs? Drivers cannot drive safely in unsafe conditions. Another factor which contributes to road accidents is the condition of the roads and infrastructure of the country. The government should ensure that there is adequate maintenance of our infrastructure. Impediments on roads cause drivers to lose control over their vehicles and force drivers to make illegal moves.
It should also be ensured, by the government, that the roads of a country are well lighted in the night. Some drivers are unable to see oncoming vehicles in time and thus collide causing death or injury. Areas of congestion are also a common location for road injuries. Even though, patience in traffic plays the major role in preventing road accidents in traffic, another role should be played by the government, in preventing excessive traffic. It is a known fact that officials in the Licensing Office take bribes from students who want to obtain their license faster. These bribes must be stopped . No amount of money is worth a life!
There are many solutions to the problems stated earlier. Firstly and most importantly, the driver’s attitude has to change. The driver should always be patient, responsible and cautious. He should ensure that all the fittings in the car be in such a manner as not to cause or to be likely to cause, danger to any person in the vehicle or on the public road. In other words, he should always have “social responsibility.”
Secondly, the government is in charge of making a country a safe place to drive in. The government should ensure that there is proper maintenance of infrastructure. Should impediments such as pot holes, branches etc be removed, roads will be made safer to a significant degree. Maintenance of infrastructure should also include properly functioning lights on roadways for night drivers and properly maintained street signs and traffic directing arrows. To reduce accidents due to speeding, there should be more effective mechanisms to detect speed for example hidden cameras at traffic lights and radar systems.
It should be made mandatory that all drivers in Trinidad and Tobago take courses on defensive driving. There should be more police on the road during the night taking random breathalyzer tests to determine if the drivers are intoxicated. Billboards and other artifacts must be removed from major roads to reduce driver distraction. The use of cell phones while driving should be banned for this, primarily contributes to driver distraction. In order to avoid excessive traffic congestion, the government should make the highways wider for many accidents are caused in the build up of traffic.
The most effective solutions to road safety related problems integrate the driver, the vehicle, the road and environmental considerations. Improvements in road safety can best be achieved through consultation and co operation with specific levels of government, industry and the public. All users of the transportation system must share responsibility for safety. Recently, road accidents have increased drastically and should be really considered a major health hazard of today.
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Road Accident is collision between any vehicles (for example car, truck, motorcycle etsectra) or it can be with any pedestrian, animal or the hindrance placed in the middle of the road. The accident occurred could result in many injuries or damage to the property. There are various factors which come into account which can be the reason of accident that is design of the road, driver's impairment and vehicle design which can cause serious and most dangerous types of accidents. This essay is based on the prevention of car accidents on the roads mainly on the streets of Dubai.
Defining the Problem-
What is the Problem?-
The provision of highways are resulting in convenience for the peoples but the main problem which is faced by the government of any country is that the more frequent road accidents which are happening on the highways which results in severe damage in form of man power or infrastructure and mainly it is happening in big cities like UAE or Dubai which are having large road transport. The problem is basically small which is to be handled very carefully by the government; they have taken many measures to stop these huge accidents.
Whenever a road accident takes place there is various types of damage which takes place which could be in the form of human beings which is also a victim, infrastructure which is damage to the government and other administration damages which occurs during accident. There is heavy cost to all above types of damages which has to be paid during accident which increase the complication if every day there will hundreds of accidents across the country which would directly affect the economy of the country such as UAE. There is a cost which has to be paid by the victim's family which cause great problem financially, the property is damaged due to the accident which also affect government financially indirectly. There is also some administration cost which will undergo due to the accident.
The main reason behind the accidents which occur so frequently on the roads of UAE is that inattention which is given during driving a car. There would probably lesser amount of accidents if proper attention and rules are followed during traveling. There could be reason related to weather which also come into effect into the reason behind accident which is of course a natural reason, the fog which causes less appearance of on coming vehicles could result in accidents. The other main reason which can cause massive accident is consumption of alcohol during driving. There are some stats related to the car accidents in UAE-
- Mostly 92% men are responsible for the death occurred during accident and only 8% women are responsible.
- Accidents at night made up 45% of the total fatalities.
- Private vehicles cause 1164 accidents taking a toll of 167 lives.
- The average ratio of death due to accident in UAE was 1 in every 28 hours. \
Cause of Accidents-
There are four factors which are responsible for these types of road car accidents which are-
The failure of some equipment inside the machine working of a car resulting into serious car accident is known as Accident due to Equipment Failure. These could be of various types such as failing of break, bursting of tire, tread separations or the problem could occur in steering/suspension.
The accidents which occur due to the irregular design of roads are known as accidents due to Roadway Design. It could occur through hazardous visibility which consists of merging lanes, livestock or pedestrian crossings, crests and troughs etc. The accident also occurs due to the irregular surface of the roads which causes imbalance of the vehicle and results into collision with another vehicle or infrastructure.
Poor Roadway Maintenance-
Poor roadway maintenance also contributes to some of the car accidents. There could be debris in the way of the road which could create problems for the traveler which is responsibility of local highway department, faded road sign and potholes could be another cause for the major road accident.
The main and foremost cause is driver's behavior other than three causes discussed above which constitutes only 5% of the cause of the road accidents and 95% depends on this one. Various surveys has been done in which there is a study which comes out to be that only 5% driver's committed their own mistake in the accident and a major of 80
% believe that the other driver should have done something to stop the accident to occur.
There are various policies which has been started or being formed for the increasing road accidents on the roads of UAE. There is an immediate need for the adoption of government's policies which could change the face of the accidents in the positive manner. Recently there is a conference been held in Abu Dhabi which was 15th Road Safety conference of four continents under the patronage of the vice president and prime minister of United Arab of Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid AL Maktoum. This conference was mainly organized by National Transport Authority (NTA) and with collaboration with other groups such as GRPS, FERSI, TRB and many more. This was the first road safety conference which will going to follow United Nation Assembly resolution A/64/L.44/Rev1 on safety of roads. The aim to conduct this conference was to follow the path being adopted by the UN assembly resolution and to support the declaration being done in Moscow to improve the safety measures on road. This conference was great platform for the government to adopt the measures which are being adopted and technical methods which are better than their methods could be adopted and being implemented to construct a safe world to live in which is free from ant accident. It was a great platform to debate for road safety issues and to discuss them and the measurement for the improvement of safety measures. There should be organization of future events and form a close relationship with transport institutions and the government authorities to work on the topic of road safety which can reduce the number of accidents which took place these days. The conclusion of this conference come out with the understanding that all the participants that is the countries or the nations which have participated in the conference will follow the guidance given by the United Nations on the road safety measures. There should be implementation of the strategic plan such as “Zero Vision” which is famous in some countries in Europe which should be encouraged by the United Arab of Emirates government as well as the agency under which this project will go should handle it with care.
Government' s Reaction-
The accidents which are taking place in the UAE region of Arab countries are getting out of the alarming situation so there is a need of taking protective measures by the government to enhance the education related to the safety adoption during driving to avoid the risk of accident. There are various policies which have been introduced by the UAE government to ensure that there is less number of accidents in the country. There are various system introduced to control the accidents which takes place at the highway like introduction of fine system, black points and application like radars should be installed. So these systems should be discussed in detail to understand their uniqueness
System of fine-
There is an introduction of fine in various countries for the breaking of traffic rules to control the ongoing accident on the highways or on the street but the fine system which is applied in the United Arab Emirates region is somehow little harsh from other countries because of the diversified atmosphere of that country and the large amount of vehicles running daily from one destination to other. There are more than hundreds of offences which are made under the rule which involves handsome amount of money which is to be given by the culprit if he/she found guilty of any one of them. There are some examples which could be given to show you how strict is the government of UAE
- Not wearing seat belt there is a fine of 100 AED
- If there is some change found in the fundamental of engine without permit then a fine of 400 AED
- Driving a vehicle which is creating lots of pollution then there is a fine of 300 AED
- Driving without number plate then there is fine of 200 AED
- Overloading can charge an individual with 200 AED
- Driving a vehicle which is not having a license from license authority could be charged with a toll of 200 AED.
So above points describing fine are some of the fines which have described here very shortly instead they are having a big list of them. The system is introduced with a purpose of reducing the irrelevant trafficking and reduction of accidents which are taking place in the country at the faster rate.
Various countries are adopting high tech facilities to control the rate of accidents which is touching the sky. There are technical gadgets which are available in the market which could detect the speed of a vehicle from few kilometers before which could help in controlling the speeds of the vehicle which is the main reason for the accidents. For example there is radar installed somewhere at the place on highway which used to keep track of the speed of ongoing vehicles and if found some vehicle is running at the speed which too high then the censors of radar will give the indication about it. This system and other various measures which have been initialized by the government have reduced the rate of accidents which were taking place earlier. You will be shocked through the stats that death due to road accidents in Dubai has fallen short by 27 percent in the first nine months of the last year which are the figures being given by the Road and Transport Authority (RTA). There has been loads of effort being given by the UAE ministry of Interior in making the roads safer for the pedestrians and the motorists.
This system is introduced basically in the UAE in which there are points given on the basis of breaking the rules or committing any mistakes during driving along with the fine being charged. These points collectively if crosses a standard limit which has been specified by the government could result into cancellation of the driving license or could be even worse than that by cancelling the license of the vehicle and taking the vehicle into their custody.
So these were few measures which are being taken by the government of UAE at the superior level to prevail UAE as the Best Global cities in the world by 2015. There is a signing of memorandum between Road and Transport Authority (RTA) and the ministry to involve road safety in the top agenda and to increase improving the driving standards and the safety measures which are being took by the people.
The policies which are been introduced by the government or some of them which are in the line are discussed in the above topics but the help or the measures which an individual could take has its own preferences. There are some policies which could be added in the list of the safety rules can help them a lot to somehow decrease the accidents being taking place at the highway or on the streets. There should be launching of nation wide campaigns which could help in providing information regarding the road safety measures being adopted and to make people aware of the rules which are being introduced in the rule books. There are around 11551 injuries and simultaneous deaths on the streets of Dubai and there are 17 deaths which took place weekly in Dubai which is quite shocking with the stats. There are websites which conduct online test to test the knowledge of the road laws of the people which have another purpose also which is to make aware people about various laws and protective measures which they can take while driving.
There should be formation of different associations which could take part in making the rules of road safety implemented in every part of the country and help the government in reducing the rate of accidents and which should provide various new invented measures which could be implemented and will be helpful in decreasing the rate of accidents, the government should take these type of ideas. There is very sharp division on the speed breakers which are situated on the highways could be placed with the forewarning boards and properly colored which could be seen from a distance but the travelers feel that speed breakers are not necessary on the highways but the villagers which understands the necessity of the breakers for their safety from the fast running vehicles. So these ways we have seen the division of mentality.
There should be jurisdictional restriction on speed limit of different types of vehicle which are running like anything on the roads or highways resulting into very bad accidents. There should be some technically installment of the limit of speed which could be set accordingly to the traffic running at that place.
The criteria of providing license should be made harsher which could only give chance to the perfect drivers which could provide a better chance of decreasing the accident rate. There should be various level of testing the driving of an individual which result in total inspection of the people that how much they know and is it safer to give them license to drive vehicle.
The Non-Governing Organizations (NGOs) should come in front to put extra effort on the safety measures being introduced by the government. There are mechanical failures which could occur in vehicle apart from it there are mainly driver's fault which could result in severe massive accidents resulting into loss of many lives with them. Nowadays people are consuming alcohol and driving vehicle which could result into serious accident so the policy should be made to check the alcohol consumption which should not be found more than a standard level as set by the government. There are cops which are posted at some place on the highways to check for these types of faults with breath taking machines which indicates if there is overconsumption of alcohol.
Sometimes there are accidents which occur due to improper sign boards being placed on the roads. The proper planning of city could make a city free from accident which can be made by taking such types of protective measures such as sidewalks should be made to avoid walking on the roads which could decrease in the road hitting cases in the city, the crossing which is made should be made more uplifted to save pedestrian, there should be the facility for separate lanes for the two wheeler, three wheeler vehicles which can travel in only one row to avoid the risk of accidents. The activities like talking on cell phone, listening to music while driving should be avoided by an individual by themselves which could seriously harm their lives and is termed as very dangerous. The government should walk through every rural and urban area to educate the people and launch campaign at very big level to involve as many people as it can so that more and more people are being introduced to the new technologies which are rapidly being involved in the traffic rules.
There should be collaboration which could be made with other countries to improve the conditions which is at present, more and more conferences should be organized within country to establish a base of road safety and there should be exchange of information and ideas between different people having different mindset which could help in building more ideas regarding safety of the people of the country.
The road design is also sometimes responsible for the accidents which should be made properly. In some researches it has been shown that proper design and maintenance, with well designed intersections, proper installation of traffic control devices could make significant improvement in the rates of accidents.
There should be no mechanical default in the vehicle which is actually 5% of the accidents which take place but there should adequate measures which should be taken by individual like proper wearing of seatbelts, time to time service of the vehicle to avoid any risk during long run and other measures which should be taken by the drivers to drive safely on the highways which is the place of having maximum risk of accident. The driver which is driving a car should be well educated enough to identify the roadside signboards to minimize human error so that risk of accident from human side decreases as low it can be.
The car accidents are taking place at frequent rate in the country like United Arab of Emirate where number of highway are more which increases the rate of accident, the protective measure should be taken by an individual while driving a vehicle which has been introduced in above points. There are various policies which are introduced by the government to decrease the alarming situation of the rate of accidents occurring in UAE. There are stats which are shocking about the deaths of the people occurred during the accidents, these can only be improved when there is an initialization from every person of the nation and if full support is achieved by the government of the country then there are chances to calm down the temperature of the rate of accident occurring at highway.
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