Watch Out, Danger Ahead
- The annual cost of road accidents and injuries: Rs 550 billion, close to 3 per cent of the GDP. Conversely, the amount that’s earmarked to improve highways: Rs 103 bn, 1/5th the loss.
- 80 per cent of all crashes and 65 per cent of near-crashes occur when drivers have not been paying enough attention for as little as 3 seconds.
- Over 50% of accidents take place close to home/ familiar surroundings
- Over 90% of people who have a safety incident blame the other party
- More than 85 per cent of drivers rate their driving abilities as being either excellent or above average, an overconfidence bias that leads to unsafe behaviour on the road
Last week, when 21-year-old Delhi girl Priya Jain was killed while crossing the road, the earphones she’d been sporting caught everyone’s attention and elicited quick murmurs of concern: was technology turning killer on our streets? Danger lurks on every road, at every turn: the gentleman at the wheel reaching out to check the urgent e-mail that just beeped its arrival on his smartphone. The college student who is not able to hear the car honking behind her because she is plugged into her iPod. The mother-of-two, out to pick her kids up, furiously typing out a text message in heavy traffic. We can relate because we have all been there. They are all people like us; and we are people like them.