An Audi A3 sedan bearing Pune (MH-12 MF-1003) registration plates got skewered on a guard rail. The incident happened on that part of the National Highway that connects the Bangalore-Mumbai NH4 to the expressway. The guard rail pierced right through the windshield of the luxury sedan and exited through the rear.
While the fate of the car’s passengers remain unknown for now, the accident could easily have killed its occupants. Judging from the impact, the Audi could have driven through the metal guard rail at high speed. We can only hope that the occupants of the Audi have survived this gory crash.
Given that this stretch of NH4 has been under repair for more than 3 years, it’s not uncommon to see construction debris strewn around, and poorly marked diversions. This stretch is also notorious for accidents, especially at night and during poor weather conditions.
At night or during the rains, many of these diversions and hazards are nearly invisible. Throw in a high speed car with a errant/drunk driver in the mix, and there’s a massive disaster waiting to happen, perhaps like this one.
Here are some of the major road hazards you need to stay alert at all times for:
Stones on the road
When vehicles break down on the highways, drivers just place stones or even huge boulders on the road to warn other motorists that a vehicle ahead is stationary. Such stones on the highway are often left unattended after the broken down vehicle is towed or fixed. These stones lie on the road, causing accidents, and among the most common hazards on Indian highways.
Broken down vehicles
Broken down vehicles are often just parked on the highway without any indication/hazard markers. These vehicles themselves become hazards, and have caused massive accidents in the past. So, watch out for such vehicles. The best way to get around such hazards is to 1. Drive cautiously. 2. Stick to speeds of under 100 Kph at all times.
When highways are under construction or being repaired, it’s not uncommon for construction debris such as stones, unfinished guard rails, etc forming dangerous hazards on the roads. Slowing down and watching out for such hazards is very important, especially on highways under repair/maintenance.
Tractors and sometimes, even bullock carts
Image courtesy Sarangib
Tractors, and sometimes bullock carts, can be found on Indian roads, in the dead of the night, and without any reflective marking whatsoever. Often, these vehicles turn into hazards, and are not visible to the oncoming vehicle till the last second. Needless to say, such hazards have cost many lives. Stay alert for them, especially on state highways.
Most Indian highways aren’t access controlled, and aren’t fenced off. This results in a lot of stray animals getting onto the road. Frequently, accidents are caused due to stray cattle on the road. Sometimes stray dogs suddenly crossing the road can surprise drivers, and cause accidents. Again, the key here is to stay alert and maintain sane speeds.