NRAPO
NRAPO
Accident
About Accident
An accident is a specific, unidentifiable, unexpected, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, with no apparent and deliberate cause but with marked effects. It implies a generally negative probabilistic outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence.

A traffic collision (motor vehicle collision, motor vehicle accident, car accident, or car crash) is when a road vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road debris, or other geographical or architectural obstacle. Traffic collisions can result in injury, property damage, and death.

A number of factors contribute to the risk of collision including; vehicle design, speed of operation, road design, and driver impairment. Worldwide motor vehicle collisions lead to significant death and disability as well as significant financial costs to both society and the individual

 
Why Accidents Happens...
Top Five Reasons for accidents
 
 
At the end of the day, one has to accept that despite one’s best efforts, accidents will continue to happen. However, education, awareness, and driver training will go a long way in reducing the number of people who are hurt so unnecessarily. And in a country like ours where the driver’s licensing system has been reduced to a charade, there is an additional task of fighting corruption and enforcing stricter driving tests.
But most importantly, respect for life is what really matters. “You may not value your own life, but your family and friends do. In the event of an accident, possibly due to your carelessness, you may be saved without a scratch, but somebody may be killed or maimed. This is a heavy cross to bear, and you bear it forever.”

Dangerous overtaking
Speeding in general and dangerous overtaking in specific is a major killer. This is particularly true on the highway where a majority of accidents happen due to rash overtaking. First take a good look at head-on traffic, let the vehicle being overtaken know of your intentions, and overtake only when there is ample time and room to accommodate a contingency. If there is water or gravel on the road ahead, postpone your overtaking till you get a clean stretch of road. This is because if you need to brake suddenly, you could find yourself in a terrifying skid.
<< Top >>
 

Lane cutting
It is common to see city folk cutting across lanes in order to find that elusive gap. Unfortunately, this often has terrible results.
<< Top >>
 
Jumping signals
You are approaching an intersection, the signal is green and you are cruising along...when out of nowhere, comes an auto rickshaw or a motorcyclist, trying to cut across by jumping his red signal. Yes, it has happened to all of us, and the consequences are scary. Since you can’t ensure that it won’t happen in the future, the only option is to slow down when approaching an intersection, and to never commit the same act yourself.
<< Top >>
 
Erratic parking
Irresponsibly-parked cars tend to block the vision of vehicles coming from behind. As a result, if any pedestrians are crossing the road, or any car is turning in to join the stream of traffic, there’s a good chance that an oncoming vehicle may not see them until it is too late.
<< Top >>
 
Lack of gap
Driving too close to the vehicle in the front is one of the main causes of accidents. Maintain at least a car length between the two of you in city traffic and at least five car lengths out on the highway.
This has a double benefit — in case the vehicle in front brakes suddenly, you have enough time and space to brake gently and avoid crashing into the vehicle ahead of you.
Secondly, it gives an irresponsible driver who may be right behind you, snapping at your rear bumper, time to slow down without hitting you.''
<< Top >>
 
DID YOU KNOW?

  1. A frontal crash at 55kph is equivalent to falling out of the third floor of a building.
  2. Probability of accident at night is eight times higher than in day. This is largely due to temporary blindness caused by high-beams of oncoming traffic.
  3. Two-wheeler riders are five times more likely to be killed in an accident than car or bus passengers. This probability goes up by more than double if the two-wheeler rider is not wearing a helmet.
  4. Certain medicines tend to induce drowsiness, which can be a killer while driving. Consult your physician about this when taking any medication.
 
WHEN ACCIDENTS HAPPEN . . .
You’ve had one, no matter how careful you were (or weren’t). What do you do now?
  1. If you hit a person and he is injured, get him to a hospital. Then go to the nearest police station and report the matter. If a mob gathers and you fear for your safety, then take your vehicle and run to the nearest police station and tell them exactly what happened. (If it was a ‘solo’ accident, that is, no other vehicle was involved and you simply crashed into a wall etc then there is no need to file a police report.)
  2. Always try and resolve the matter amicably, either at the scene of the accident or at the police station. Going in for a formal ‘charge’ can be a huge headache.
  3. In case you find that the matter cannot be resolved, then file a complaint. It will usually be written in the local language, and, if you can’t read it, ask the constable to read it out to you and explain. If you have followed step 2, be sure to mention in the report that you couldn’t attend to the injured in fear of injury to self and property. Keep a copy of the report with you.
  4. On filing a complaint, you will have to hand over your driver’s licence, the car’s registration book and insurance policy (if any of these is missing, you are in BIG trouble!). Your vehicle will be impounded by the police station for the RTO to inspect it prior to the case going to court. (Again, since it can take months for a case to be resolved in court, it is always advisable to try and resolve the matter. Otherwise, your vehicle suffers with you.)
 
WHAT THE LAW SAYS
The law, unfortunately, is a biased one. According to S B S Tyagi, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), New Delhi, “...in the event of an accident involving two or more vehicles, it is believed that the ‘bigger’ vehicle is at fault, till investigation ends and the court declares either party to be guilty.”

In case you have an accident, and a charge is being made out against you, it would help to know under what section you are being booked. For example, in the event of injury to the other person, you will be charged under section 337. In the case of death, you will be charged under section 304 (a). And in case there is no injury, you will be booked under section 279 for causing accident due to rash and negligent driving.
 

HOW INSURANCE HELPS . . .
Now that the deed is done, your financial saviour comes in. Yes, the insurance company. Remember how you cringe at the premium you have to pay every year? Now it’s time to reap the benefits. Here’s what you have to do.
  1. Take your vehicle to a reputed garage and contact your insurance agent. There usually exists a certain understanding between the garage and the surveyor that is to the benefit of the customer.
  2. The agent will then do the necessary paperwork and will ask you to provide copies of your policy, your driver’s licence and the police complaint (if any). If you have ‘third party’ insurance, then the insurance company will bear the repair-charges of the other vehicle upto a certain limit, while compensation for injuries is unlimited. However, damage to your vehicle or cost of treatment for personal injuries is not covered.
  3. If you have comprehensive insurance cover, then the insurance company takes care of all legal liabilities and expenses, whether yours or of the other person. While the premium to be paid for a comprehensive insurance is higher than that for ‘third party’ insurance, it makes more sense to go in for the former for obvious reasons. However, keep in mind that the premium is not fixed since the sum assured depends on the estimated market value of the vehicle and on the number of claims made. If no claim if made for a year, the premium for the following year is reduced. If a claim is made, then you will have to pay an additional amount the next year. Insurance premium is high for vehicles older than 10 years, and the cover stops for cars beyond 15 years. If you live in an accident-prone area, the premium is higher.
At the end of the day, one has to accept that despite one’s best efforts, accidents will continue to happen. However, education, awareness, and driver training will go a long way in reducing the number of people who are hurt so unnecessarily. And in a country like ours where the driver’s licensing system has been reduced to a charade, there is an additional task of fighting corruption and enforcing stricter driving tests.

But most importantly, respect for life is what really matters. “You may not value your own life, but your family and friends do. In the event of an accident, possibly due to your carelessness, you may be saved without a scratch, but somebody may be killed or maimed. This is a heavy cross to bear, and you bear it forever.”

© 2009 www.nrapo.org All rights reserved.   |   Feedback
Road No. 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad-34, AP,INDIA
Tel +91 - 7036111102 Fax +91 (040) 4433 4444, www.nrapo.org
info@nrapo.org