Road Safety

Road Safety

  Safety Tips for Various Road Users

Pedestrians on Roads

Pedestrians form a major chunk of road users killed in road accidents in Delhi. In the year 2001 the number of pedestrians killed on Delhi roads were 924 - 50.16% of the total deaths in road accidents. Major victims are children below 16 years of age. Elderly pedestrians though less involved in accidental deaths, are more likely to die after being struck.


  1. Alcohol impairment: Most of the adult pedestrian's death occurs because of this. When under the influence of alcohol, drivers loose the ability to take any decisive action resulting in unfortunate crashes.
  2. Heavy vehicular traffic: In central city areas volume of vehicular traffic is high and pedestrian activity is also concentrated, compelling pedestrians to scuttle between vehicles to cross the road.
  3. Absence of ample space for pedestrians: On certain Delhi roads the roads are so narrow that vehicles and pedestrians move side by side. In such cases pedestrians are at high risk of getting hit for they are not visible to drivers coming from behind.
  4. Traffic violations: In most cases speeding vehicles crush the pedestrians because faster the vehicle is travelling lesser is the time for the driver to take corrective action, and in such collisions chances of death are higher. Sometimes red light violation by the vehicle drivers becomes a cause of pedestrian's death.
  5. Lack of pedestrian discipline: Pedestrians tend to cross the road anywhere, anytime. They just dart out to cross roads, least bothered of the traffic situation.

Be Considerate to Pedestrians

Notwithstanding the fact that pedestrians themselves should exercise caution and care while on road, it is the duty of vehicle driver to have a considerate and caring attitude towards pedestrians, particularly towards young children and elderly people because
1. They react unexpectedly
2. Their eyesight and hearing is limited

Hence, as a vehicle driver you should
1. Obey traffic signals
2. Drive in a prescribed speed limit
3. Be alert regarding pedestrians while taking turns, especially right turns at red lights
4. Avoid driving after getting drunk or if under medication

Bus commuters
Bus commuters should never board or deboard a moving bus. Maintaining a queue while boarding the bus will help avoid unnecessary hustle and bustle and will also save time. Once inside the bus keep your calm avoid shouting or making noise that would distract the driver, always hold onto the handrail if standing in a moving bus, stay away from the footboard of the bus and never put any part of the body outside a moving or stationary bus.

Helping Tendency

Mutual Care & Consideration
Mantra for a Safe Journey

What Cyclists and Motorists Should Know
About and Do for Each Other?

Motorists should know that


  • Are more vulnerable than motorists. Rain, wind and poor visibility make condition worse for cyclists.
  • Can feel threatened by inconsiderate driving. They have a right to space on road and need extra space at junctions and roundabouts where cars and other bigger vehicles change speed, position and direction.
  • Ride away from the kerb to avoid drains, potholes and debris; to be seen as they come to junctions with side roads and to discourage drivers from squeezing past when the road is too narrow.
  • Turning right needs extra consideration from motorists especially on multi-lane roads with fast moving traffic.
  • Are sometimes forced into faster traffic by vehicles parked in cycle lanes, at junctions or on double yellow lines.
  • Are also dazzled by full-beam headlights
  • Can move as fast as 20 miles per hour or more

Hence motorist should

  • Expect to see cyclists and take care.
  • Slow down and drive smoothly, keep within speed limits and expect sudden movements by cyclists and give proper signals.
  • Give them half a car's width space and never force past them.
  • Exercise patience with them because a few seconds for cyclist hardly affects the total journey time.
  • Park the vehicle considerately, always looking for cyclists before opening a car door.
  • Dip the headlights at night.
  • Expect fast moving cyclists adjacent to their vehicles.

Cyclists should know that


  • Get upset if cyclists ride without lights at night, ignore traffic signals or hop on and off pavement.
  • Have less time to take account of hazards as they usually travel faster than cyclists.
  • May not always see cyclists.
  • Are made uneasy when cyclists seem hesitant, move out suddenly or in a zigzag manner.
  • Can feel delayed by the presence of a cyclist.
  • Do not always understand that some road surfaces, junctions or traffic conditions cause problems for cyclists.

Hence cyclists should

  • Follow the Highway Code, obey traffic light signals, ride in the correct way on one-way streets and avoid riding across pedestrian crossings.
  • Think ahead, try to anticipate driver's action and catch their eye.
  • Ensure their visibility to other motorists by using cycles which are painted yellow or white and pasting reflectors on wheels, in the front and back and on the pedals. Black, blue and green cycles cannot be seen at night.
  • Make their intentions clear to drivers of other vehicles. Always look and signal before starting, stopping or turning. Ride a straight line past parked cars rather than dodge between them.
  • Move over, when it is safe and convenient, not creating hindrance to other traffic.
  • Ride positively and decisively making motorists understand their intentions.


The motorised two-wheeler rider is the one most likely to sustain serious injuries no matter what he hits- a pedestrian, a cat or another vehicle. This is because he is traveling at a speed more than 15 kmph without any protection around, and the human body is not able to tolerate forces generated when the head or any other bone hits hard and rigid objects at speed higher than 15 kmph.

Avoid Accident

This can be done in two ways:

  • Speed control: In most cases accidents are the direct result of fast driving because the one who is driving faster gets lesser time to take corrective action and lesser control over the vehicle.
  • Conspicuity: MTW riders should make themselves and their vehicles as visible as possible especially at night.
  • Yellow and orange are the only colors visible both in day and at night. Wear vests or jackets and helmets of these colors.
  • Paste reflective strips on all sides of the helmet and at the front, back and sides of your vehicle.
  • During day time you can make your presence felt by keeping your headlights on.


Every time you go out for a drive, wear a helmet properly strapped below the chin because helmets are very effective in reducing the severity of head injuries in a crash.

Facts about Helmet

  • It does not obstruct vision.
  • It does not interfere with hearing.
  • It does not build up dangerous temperatures inside the helmet.
  • It does not cause fatigue which causes crashes.
  • It does not cause skin diseases.
  • It does not increase the probability of neck injuries.

Kinds of helmets to be used

It should have a thick padding of thermocole- at least 20 mm- which must extend to the sides of the head. A full face helmet is safer by all means.

Components of the helmet and their roles

The Shell: The shell of a helmet is an injection molded thermoplastic or a pressure molded thermoset that is reinforced with glass fibers or made of fiber glass.

  • It absorbs energy in an impact:- The shell bends when the helmet is impacted and the underlying foam deforms. At moderate speeds the shell can take one-third of the impact energy.
  • It distributes local forces from an impact:- Rigid objects like stone or a projecting beam can cause a skull fracture at low forces, the shell acts to distribute the force of such impact eliminating the risk of penetration.
  • It allows sliding on road surfaces:- The shell being rigid and having a convex shape allows the helmet to slide along a road surface without there being an excessive force.
  • It protects the face and temples:- Full-face helmet is beneficial in protecting the face and jaw. The chin bar of such helmets contain rigid foam to absorb energy for direct blows on the chin, prevent facial bone fractures and prevent the lower part of the forehead and temple being struck.

The foam liner: This is a molding of polystyrene beads or polyurethane foam. It provides a stopping distance for the head. The foam can compress by 90% during an impact, although it recovers partially afterwards. But this helps increase the stopping distance thus reducing the peak deceleration of the head. It also protects as much as possible of the head.

Proper strapping system: It is essential to wear a well-fitting helmet for the effective working of chinstrap system. To test if the helmet fits your head properly, tightly fasten the chinstrap and then pull helmet off forward by gripping the rear and then pulling. The strap must be threaded correctly so that the buckle locks the strap when it is pulled from the chin side. The strap must be pulled as tight as is bearable under the chin.

Bus and truck drivers
Buses and trucks fall under the category of heavy vehicle. They should be driven on the extreme left, speed governors are mandatory for them and the maximum speed limit for buses and trucks is 40 KMPH. Buses and trucks can never overtake any other vehicle. Bus drivers should drive their buses along the bus lane and should stop the buses inside the bus box that is drawn near the bus stops. Other buses that are coming behind and are destined to stop at this bus stop should stop behind the first bus in a line and wait for their turn. Under no circumstances can the latter bus stand parallel to the former bus or overtake it.


Cell Phones & Road Safety

The National Police Agency of Japan in a recent survey found that Japanese drivers using cell phones during driving, caused 2297 accidents in 1997. These accidents resulted in 25 fatalities and injuries to over 3000. Another study on cell phones and road safety in South Africa, revealed that out of every four car crashes one is cell phone related. We in India are still some distance from such surveys concerning cell phones and accidents but one thing is certain, that cell phone drivers are growing by leaps and bounds on our roads. Last week it was a remarkable scene on the Cathedral road, just a stone’s throw from Chola Sheraton. A two-wheeler driver with a heavy load tied on the rear seat, taking a turn on TTK Road, with only one hand balancing the vehicle, the other hand holding a mobile and the driver keenly engrossed in a conversation. So the days are not far when our law enforcers will have to take notice of this.

Are cell phones really dangerous? Can they be termed a new monster threatening life and safety on our roads? A Professor at Stanford University, U.S.A. says it is an impossible thing to prove. According to him, a study would have to prove whether cell phones were being used at or near the time of mishap and whether the connection between phone use and car accidents was mere coincidence. Cell phones may be dangerous or not, but while using one, attention obviously wanders and accidents can result. Not a comforting thought.

Though the link between car crashes and use of cell phones may be difficult to prove, there are nine out of ten chances of a driver knocking down a person trying to cross a road, on which he happens to be driving with a cell phone on. Two Canadian researchers have collected evidence that points to the possibility of an increase in the number of accidents while the driver is driving and talking on the cell phone. The study conducted by D.A. Redelmier and R.J. Tibshirani of the University of Toronto, involved 699 drivers who had cell phones and who were also involved in accidents. After analysing 26,798 cells made by these drivers, the study concluded that the risk of accidents increased fourfold when the drivers were talking on the cell phone.

Using mobiles in many countries is illegal. Portugal has completely banned them. Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Spain require motorists to use hand free sets. Making calls while driving is permitted in Germany, but hand free sets are recommended. In USA, there are around 35 million cellular phones in use, but there is no law restricting the use of cell phones while driving. The new highway code of UK published in February this year, acknowledges that drivers might lose concentration because of in-car technical equipment. The new code making clear the danger of being distracted by gadgets in vehicles clearly states, "do not operate, adjust or view any such system if it will distract your attention while you are driving." Safety campaigners in UK had been pressuring the government to introduce laws to ban the use of mobile telephones while driving, but the government has stopped short of that.

Still, in spite of all these drawbacks, cell phones have several positive features. Cell phones are a valuable safety device. Information about an accident can be communicated accurately and speedily. A driver can drive without stress as he knows that help is only a phone call away. This helps him keep his peace of mind and the roads safer. To maximize the safety potential and to prevent it from becoming a hazard, we could be guided by the following recommendations.

Position your phone within easy reach so that you don’t have to take your eyes off the road. Get to know the features of your cell phone – speed dial, redial, voice mail, they can be your life saver. But don’t dial and drive at the same time. Use a hands free kit. Avoid using a phone when road conditions are hazardous or traffic is heavy. You can let your voice mail take messages and then call back later. Don’t engage in stressful conversations that may distract your attention from the road. Don’t take notes or look up phone numbers whilst driving, wait till you can pull over. User abbreviated speed dialing. In fact, voice activated dialing is even better. It leaves both hands free. Frequently called numbers can be programmed. Observe the traffic conditions before making or receiving a call. Have an answering machine installed that could take messages until you can return the calls. In case you have a co-passenger, let him handle the calls. In case you are invariably required, stop the car at the nearest safe point to converse. And in case you are a dedicated cell phone user, do not drink a beverage or light a cigarette while driving. It doubles the risk of an accident.

A cellular phone is a responsibility and a privilege. People need to learn how to use it safely to maximize the benefits. Cell phone companies could encourage safe cell phone use through education and training. The National Cellular Safe Talk Centre and the National Safety Council of the United States have developed a cell phone safety guide that provides safe-driving tips and explains how to report emergencies.

Restricting or curbing the use of cell phones while on the move, in fact, they are intended for that purpose, would be putting the clock back. Also it is not desirable. It is therefore imperative that adequate awareness be created in the cell phone users to help them recognise hazards that could lead to accidents, disabilities and deaths and thus avoid these mishaps.

Anoop Khanna
                    Asst. Manager (PR)

For further details contact:
Loss Prevention Association of India Ltd., (LPA)
Seethakathi Chambers, (4th Floor)
688, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600 006.
Phone : 28524648, 28523920.
Fax: 28523746.  


Accident Victims

Help The Accident Victims

If you happen to be at an accident site, what you do in those 2-3 minutes, can save a precious life. Please bear in mind that:

  • First priority is to save accident vicitim.
  • Helping an accident victim does not put you into any trouble.
  • Contact the nearest First-Aid Post / Trauma Care Facility and nearest Police Station for assistance.
  • Do not take Law into your own hands by manhandling or quarrelling with the driver of vehicle causing the accident.

    Stop Line Violation (Flash File)

    Side Mirrors (Power Point Slide Show)

    Avoid Using A Cell Phone While Driving (WMV)

    Stop Aggressive Driving

    Chennai Traffic Police

    Obey traffic rules to prevent accidents

    Regulatory Signs
    Road Crash Victims Day
    Road Safety Resource Center
    Cause For Most Road Accidents


    List of Emergency Helpline Telephone Numbers in Chennai / Tamil Nadu / India:

  • Police – 100
  • Doctor - 1911
  • Women – 1091
  • Eye Bank – 1919
  • Earthquake - 1092

  • Blood Bank – 1910
  • Traffic Police – 103
  • Accidents – 100, 103
  • Senior Citizen – 1253
  • Child Distress – 1098

  • BSNL Call Center - 1500
  • Coastal Emergency – 1093
  • Police SMS – 95000 99100
  • Ambulance Service – 102, 108
  • Electricity Complaints - 155333

  • Emergency & Accidents – 1099
  • Traffic Police SMS – 98400 00103
  • Fire Service / Rescue Service – 101
  • Emergency in National Highways – 1033
  • Corruption charges on Police – SMS – 98409 83832
  • Local Directory Enquiry Service (BSNL Telephones) - 197

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