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09Feb2017

9 Common Myths about Student Road Safety

 

Road safety awareness is poorer especially among the youngsters. Reasons invariably range from ignorance of traffic rules to sheer disrespect of traffic regulations. Governmental empathy towards maintenance of roads and overlooking the needs of vehicle maintenance by owners add to the figures in the reports on traffic accidents. 

In such a scenario, creating Road safety awareness is especially a Herculean task with the limited number of personnel and resources. Additionally, there are certain myths and beliefs which hinder the progress of spreading Road safety awareness programmes.

Must Read: 

Student Road Safety and its Relevance in Today’s World

Myth #1

Road safety awareness is least among youngsters

But independent surveys have proved that people from the age group 18-44 show no significant differences in the road safety awareness index. The main thrust should therefore be on enforcing them with vigil.

Myth #2

Experienced drivers are less likely to get into accidents  and those which occur are due to vehicle and road conditions

It is a widely held belief that the more kilometers one drive,the less likely you get into accidents. Accident rates, however, has no such correlation with the driver’s experience. No matter, how experienced the driver may be, it would be advisable to keep a vigil on the road while driving. 

However, the major factor involves driver fault which includes drunken and reckless driving. This is more common among the younger generation where speed and alcohol makes a deadly combination on the roads to increase the accident figures. Therefore, Road safety awareness campaigns must address these issues on  a broader scale. 

Myth #3

Insurance covers everything, even if driven recklessly.

Most insurance companies have clauses specifically disallowing the claim in cases of negligent driving as well as irregular vehicle maintenance. Reckless driving can therefore cost you a fortune even if you have got the policy cover. Therefore, knowing your vehicle insurance guidelines well could be the first step in your road safety awareness lessons.

Myth #4

It is ok to do little stunts while driving as in films

Youngsters are often attracted to filmy stunts. The warnings are usually ignored when they try to imitate their favourite on screen heroes in real life when driving. Road safety awareness campaigns promoted by these celebrities emphasizing the difference are the need of the hour.

Myth #5

Racing is safe if conducted in highways for youngsters and being slow in highways means being safe for elders.

Racing is a sport to be conducted at places with proper gear and adhering to the rules. Road safety awareness programmes often fail to address this issue. Speed thrills but kills. Being very slow, especially in highways doesn’t guarantee safety either. Highways are meant for faster transport facilities (well within the set speed limits). Being very slow in a  highway in the middle of the road would be like inviting disaster.

Fuel consumption also increases below optimal speed. A reasonable and sensible speed and driving behavior could be the more apt solution.

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Myth #6

You can use mobile phones in hand free mode while driving or when waiting at the traffic signals

Traffic rules clearly prohibit any activity which brings distraction to safe driving. Hence, using mobiles either for talking or listening to music can be detrimental and avoided if possible.

Similarly, jaywalking is punishable under section 33 (b) of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 with a fine of Rs.100 or detention. However, it is often ignored due to inadequate vigil force.

Myth #7

If you are 16 or above, you can drive any vehicle with a learner’s license

A learner’s license is specific for a period of six months. And persons under the age of 18 cannot drive a heavy vehicle above 50cc or transport vehicles. 

Myth#8

Wearing any helmet can save you from head injuries

Wearing seat belts and helmets can save you from injuries only if rigorously followed. Using low grade helmets and not strapping them can’t save. Hence, road safety awareness lessons must specify the need for using good quality helmets.

Myth#9

A high level of  Road safety awareness reduces accidents

Higher indices of road safety awareness has sadly not resulted in reduction of accident statistics. It is equally important to enforce vigil and reminders among public. 

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