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Fundamental measures to avoid Road Accidents

Dr. Mohammed Haneef M, HOD, Emergency Department, SUT Hospital, Pattom

Road accidents are increasing day by day. Emergency department of a hospital deals a number of road accident cases daily. Most of the time it is evident that the serious injuries could have avoided if they had followed the proper traffic rules i.e. wearing a helmet and using a seat belt. Mostly young are seriously injured during accidents.

Today, though Kerala is at the forefront of the health sector, the number of deaths due to road accidents is very high. While Malayalees often run around in a busy life, they travel in defiance of many safety rules. Our roads are very congested and there are many risk factors while travelling.

We are living in a society which is reluctant to take a person to the hospital in the event of a road accident. But the Department of Motor Vehicles has passed a new law to change this situation. The person who takes the accident victim to the hospital within 1 hour will be awarded a cash prize. There is no doubt that this law will lead to positive change. In the event of an accident, it is possible to save the lives of the injured by rushing them to the hospital as soon as possible. Otherwise it can lead to many complications or even death.

It is very important to opt for an appropriate hospital based on the condition of the accident victim. The ‘Emergency Department’ is available at most hospitals in Kerala. By choosing a hospital with doctors and equipments capable of providing super specialty level treatment within the emergency department helps to improve the health status and can adopt life saving measures.

Road accidents can happen to anyone, but we can reduce the severity if we pay attention. Things to follow:

1. You must use helmet while travel in two-wheelers.
If you fail to use helmet on two-wheeler ride there is a possibility of serious brain injury in case of a road accident. Helmet acts as a shield which is able to prevent serious injuries that could lead to death. In case of a serious head injury may lead to paralysis, coma or death. Helmet should be properly strapped while using.

2. You must use seat belt while travelling in a car.
Most passengers wear seat belts only because of a police inspection or surveillance cameras. Even though, all passengers fail to do those except the driver. This practice should be prevented as every life is precious. Road accidents cannot be predicted so it is imperative that every passenger in the vehicle adopts safety measures. If the vehicle suddenly brakes, there is a possibility of throw out of the passenger through the front glass, causing serious injuries. Avoid such situations with our small actions.

3. It is mandatory to use a child restraint system while travelling in a car with children.
If there is a child passenger aged newborns to 10 years old travelling in the car, use the ‘Child safety seat’ and seat belt according to the child’s weight as per safety instructions. It is advisable to arrange this in the front seat. Do not travel in a car with children on your lap or in your arms for any reason. This is a challenge to their safety. As babies grow, develop awareness of these safety standards. We must take the initiative to create awareness among the new generation and, more importantly, be obsessed on the safety of our children.

4. Do not drink and drive.
Alcohol is harmful to health. But driving under the influence of alcohol is a threat to the lives of individuals, fellow travellers as well as the society. Driving under the influence of alcohol reduces the ability to anticipate road accidents. This increases the risk to others who follow all safety precautions. Many people misunderstand that the ‘Permitted Alcohol Level’ as drinking alcohol in a limited level is not dangerous while driving. Studies have shown that our driving judgment when driving under the influence of alcohol can be misleading and dangerous.

5. Avoid rash driving.
Road accidents due to rash driving and speed riding become common now a day. Psychiatrists consider it as a mental disorder. Most of the cases youth are involved in such actions. Often after such accidents, they are worried of their negligence. If anyone is seriously injured or killed in such an accident, that guilt haunts the person who drives the vehicle for the rest of his life. It also adversely affects their mental health.

As a good citizen or an individual, road accidents can be avoided to some extent if the road safety rules are strictly followed.