Pragmatic ways to prevent road crashes

Topics: Tram accident, Crash, Road transport Pages: 7 (1885 words) Published: January 15, 2014

Pragmatic ways to prevent road crashes

M S Siddiqui
Legal Economist and pursuing PhD in Open University, Malaysia e-mail:

The global policy is prevention of road crashes, not the punishment of drivers, one of the road users. Our problem lies with the failure to implement the laws. This is an inefficiency of the management writes M S Siddiqui

Driving may be the most dangerous activity with which we are involved. Government estimated the death of 4,000 people and injury of 5000 per annum but according to study of WHO in 2009 the yearly death is more than 20,000. Worldwide, the number of people killed in road traffic accident each year is estimated at almost 1.2 million, while the number injured could be as high as 50 million.

Road traffic injuries constitute a major public health and development crisis, and are predicted to increase manifold gradually. With the number of vehicles rapidly rising in developing countries, road accident is quickly worsening in low and middle-income countries and is on its way to becoming the third leading cause of death and disabilities as epidemic by the year 2020 (WHO 2000) after two deadly diseases Ischaemic heart disease and Unipolar major depression. The total number of road traffic deaths worldwide and injuries is forecast to rise by some 65% between 2000 and 2020, and in least developed and developing countries deaths are expected to increase by as much as 80%.

Another statistics revealed that Bangladesh has one of the highest fatality rates internationally in road accidents, over 100 deaths per 10,000 motor vehicles.

Some US government departments campaign in 1997, encouraging the removal of the word “accident” from the traffic management vocabulary and suggested replacing it with the word “crash.” Because “Motor vehicle crashes and injuries are predictable, preventable events. Continued use of the word “accident” promotes the concept that these events are outside of human influence or control. In fact, they are predictable results of specific actions”. “We can identify their causes and take action to avoid them. These are not ’acts of God,’ but predictable results of the laws of physics”.

The profiles of fatal road accidents or crush are, - fatal accidents mainly occur on national highways; predominantly involve vehicles hitting pedestrians. The highest number of fatal accidents by far involve heavy vehicles like buses, minibuses and Trucks). The highest number of fatalities per accident occurs when vehicles collide head on and killed predominantly young persons.

The causes of Road accident are identified from the studies are 1. reckless driving; 2. over- speeding; 3. over- loading; 4. vehicular defects; 5. lack of knowledge and consciousness of the road users; 6. hazardous roads & road environments; 7. lack of training to the drivers; 8. lack of training of maintenance of vehicles; 9. poor implementation of Traffic rules & regulations; 10.driving under influence of alcohol, drugs etc.; 11. Non use of helmets, seat belts etc.; 12. walk on the roads instead of using the footpath; 13. cross the road without using the foot over bridge; 14. drive the vehicles by helpers instead of Drivers; 15. illegal competition to overtake the vehicle.

Studies showed that human behavioral factors collectively represent the main cause of three out of five road traffic crashes, and contribute to the cause in most remaining cases. Here importance should be given on human behavior from both vehicle operators and users aspects. Interestingly, in all cases people use to blame anyone of participants in the incident. Drivers could be rated as either ‘to blame’, ‘at least partly to blame’, or ‘not to blame’ in any given accident. But there were also many other reasons of accident like -unforeseen mechanical failure etc.

Bangladesh has lack of policy formulation and lack effective vehicle...
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