Drinking and driving on Indian roads is a passport to getting killed, and so is speeding. Well, these are obvious causes of road accidents, aren’t they. But there are two other big killers on Indian roads, and you just can’t avoid them. Yes, we’re talking about speed breakers and potholes here, two ubiquitous sights on Indian roads.
Together, unmarked speed breakers and potholes took 11,398 lives last year, and we’re not even getting into how many pothole/speed breaker related deaths that were classified as other road accidents. So, who is accountable for these deaths, which clearly could have been avoided?
[Image courtesy TheHindu]
Is it the government, which is supposed to make sure that roads are well maintained? Or is it the enforcement agencies, who need to make sure that unauthorized people don’t put up unmarked and often ill designed speed breakers on roads?
Well, until the authorities wake up and do something here’s how you can save your skin.
1. When suddenly faced with a pothole or speed breaker, do NOT swerve wildly to avoid such obstacles. The traffic beside and behind you may not respond quickly enough, and you risk a major accident. Putting your car through a pothole or speed breaker at speed may damage it, but this is better than getting hit by a truck whose driver is slower to react to your swerve.
2. Drive slower when it’s dark. It’s simply, really. If you can’t see where you’re going, and what’s ahead clearly. If you are too fast, either across a speed breaker or a pothole, chances of losing control and crashing are significantly higher. If you’re slow enough, even the largest pothole or the tallest speed breaker can be navigated easily.
Also see – 10 tips to drive safely at night
3. Be very cautious when it rains. When it rains, roads get flooded and hide a lot of obstacles, the prime ones being potholes, speed breakers and open manholes. While driving slow in the rains is something that’s a must-do, you also need to drive cautiously, looking for warning signs.
Also see – CarToq’s monsoon driving tips
4. If you regularly drive on unknown roads during the nights, invest in a pair of auxiliary lamps. While on the road, seeing is everything, and auxiliary lamps help illuminate obstacles that you may otherwise miss. However, be courteous to other road users by switching off the auxiliary lamps when faced with oncoming traffic.