3 young lives were lost in a massive crash on GT Karnal Road near Alipur police station. All three young men, Ujjwal (21), Shikhar (22) and Rajesh (21) were bio-technology engineering students of Amity University, Noida. They were on their way to Murthal in a Mahindra Scorpio, along with 7 other friends, to eat Paranthas.
How did it happen?
The crash happened in the wee hours, at 2 AM, when their Scorpio collided with a tractor whose trailer was loaded with bricks. The impact was so high that the left-side of the SUV was completely damaged. From the images, it appears that the entire left of the Scorpio has sheared off. Reportedly, all three who died were sitting on the left.
The 7 others in the SUV – 4 men and 3 women – escaped death narrowly but have been seriously injured, and are being treated. The tractor driver fled after the incident, leaving bricks strewn all over. The cops are on a manhunt, while both the Zoomcar Scorpio and the tractor have been seized.
Tractors and bullock carts literally KILL!
Ask anyone who’s driven at night on single carriageways and unlit highways of India, and they’ll have a tale to tell about the nearly invisible tractors and even bullock carts. These vehicles often become road hazards as they move slowly, and have no markings to make them visible at night.
Often, it’s not until the very last moment that a faster driver spots tractors and bullock carts, and sometimes, it’s just too late to avoid a major accident. Perhaps the students on the Parantha trip ran into a similar incident, with a slow moving tractor invisible till the last moment.
Until the authorities make sure that tractors and bullock carts carry reflective marking, indicators and stick to the slow lane, drivers can avoid these obstacles in three ways: 1. By driving very cautiously ( at sane speeds) and actively watching out for such slow moving hazards/broken down vehicles. 2. Avoiding the fast/slow lanes on 6 lane highways. 3. Avoiding night driving on poorly marked state highways and rural roads.
Overloading is dangerous, very dangerous
From the reports emerging about the accident, it appears that the Zoomcar Scorpio was overloaded. Overloading is dangerous, very dangerous.
- It makes the car less agile, thereby making emergency direction changes difficult. And the Scorpio is a top-heavy SUV that doesn’t like quick direction changes.
- It increases the braking distance. If a car can’t stop on time, it could prove disastrous to passengers as well as other road users.
- Overloading causes premature wear and tear of critical components, increases the chances of catastrophic failure. From brake failure to broken suspension, the perils of overloading are many.
Then, there’s the graveyard hour
The Zoomcar Scorpio crash is said to have happened at 2 AM in the morning, a classic graveyard hour. Most fatal accidents on highways happen in between midnight and 4 AM, times when most humans are programmed to sleep. Also, during these hours, drivers tend to nod off, or be less alert, making it more dangerous. Avoiding driving during the graveyard hour is recommended.