Blind Spots emerge as one of the major killers on Delhi roads
In a bid to make Indian roads safer by identifying and eliminating blind spots, which are one of the biggest causes of road deaths in the country, Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd has joined hands with Solve Foundation’s IRSC to launch – ‘Blind Spot Awareness Campaign’
Figure this. More than 1,400 innocent lives were lost, and another 5,100 persons suffered injuries in road accidents on Delhi’s killer roads in 2019. Data compiled by the Delhi Traffic Police reveals that 46 per cent of the victims of road accidents were pedestrians and another 34 per cent were two-wheeler riders.
A majority of these accidents happen over and over again at the same crossings or road stretches, which can be commonly considered as ‘Black Spots’. An analysis of the statistics for Delhi reveals there are several spots that are fatal. For instance, a public record data shows maximum number of accidents happened at Gandhi Nagar bus stop, followed by 24 accidents at Gandhi Nagar bus stand, 23 accidents at Mukundpur Chowk, 20 accidents at Majnu ka Tila and 19 accidents at Mukarba Chowk. Sounds familiar Delhites?
Here is more to think, the top 10 accident prone stretches are Ring Road with 382 accidents, Outer Ring Road with 349 accidents, GTK Road with 151 accidents, Najafgarh Road with 129 accidents and Mathura Rod with 120 accidents.
The big question is can we afford to escape these?
As the need for safe and efficient transportation increases in growing economies such as India, road accidents are emerging as a major area of concern. In addition to the physical and mental trauma they cause to the victims and their families, road accidents are also impacting the country’s economy, causing an annual loss of about 3 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) owing to lives lost in the productive age group.
According to the traffic police, one of the major causes of accidents are ‘Blind Spots’ which is defined as an area or zone outside of a driver’s field of vision that increase the risk of collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians on the road or even stationary objects like curb medians, traffic signals, poles, construction zones, among other things on the road.
This area cannot be seen by looking straight through the windscreen, or even back using the rear view or side view mirrors. All vehicles have blind spots too – whether it is cars, two wheelers, buses, trucks, or even trains. But drivers need to be mindful of these and follow some simple precautions to make roads safer for themselves as well as other road users.
Where to Start?
The precautions must be stepped up when they are approaching a black spot, which is a place which is accident prone or where the frequency of accidents is high. Recognising ‘blind spots’ as a major area of concern, Delhi Traffic Police identified more than 3,500 vulnerable spots in the Capital where CCTV cameras will be installed for surveillance in a bid to make the roads safer and bring down the number of accidents.
Need for Right Mindset: It Starts with You in the Driving Seat
Some simple measures like adjusting the rear-view mirror before you start driving, using side indicators while changing lanes or taking a turn and physically looking over your shoulder before you turn your car or two-wheeler are some effective tips to eliminate blind spot risks. As responsible drivers, we must also be aware of other vehicles’ blind spots. So, the next time another vehicle comes veering into your path, you must honk and be mindful that you could be in their blind spot and have not been able to see you.
Regulations Are Important
Sometimes, the blind spots are also caused by infrastructural factors, where the view is obstructed by sharp curves, buildings, hills or trees or poor signages hindering the driver’s view of traffic. In such cases, road accidents can be prevented, and the number of deaths related to accidents reduced with remedial action. Many developed nations have adopted a multi-pronged approach that includes measures like road redesign, traffic management, safer vehicles, law enforcement, proper post-accident care, etc and have seen a drop in road deaths.
The need of the hour is for India to address the 4Es of road safety – Engineering, Education, Enforcement and Emergency Care, as recognised by the World Health Organisation, which look into the causes of road deaths.
“To improve road safety situation in Delhi, a multi-pronged concerted strategy needs to be implemented with special focus on preventing deaths of vulnerable road users like pedestrian, two-wheelers and NMT users. A holistic approach by addressing all 4E’s i.e., Engineering, Education, Enforcement and Emergency care of Road Safety, as recognized by World Health Organisation, are required,” said a senior official from traffic police.
In a bid to make Indian roads safer by identifying and eliminating ‘blind spots’, which are one of the biggest causes of road deaths in the country, one of the country’s leading auto companies, Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd has joined hands with Solve Foundation’s Indian Road Safety Campaign (IRSC) to launch a campaign “Blind Sports Are Talking - Are You Listening?” to create awareness about blind spots. The campaign compliments the vision of safe and secure roads of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH).
Under the initiative, a social advocacy program has been developed with an aim to identify, audit and offer solutions on blind spots in Delhi and Chennai to start with, using appropriate methodology to undertake necessary mitigation measures in select spots.
“In order to identify, audit, and rectify blind spots, IRSC will used the crowd sourced data and carry a detailed study on a limited basis to quantify the existing blind spots and the reasons. Subsequently, the mitigation measures will be tabled in a report to ensure a seamless traffic movement within the city and prevent fatal accidents on the identified select blind spots,” said Deepanshu Gupta, VP and Co-Founder, IRSC Solve.
After the audit is carried out, a detailed sequence of activities including reconnaissance, surveys, data analysis, potential mitigation measures and solutions will be conducted by experts and the detailed report will be shared with the MORTH for corrective action in collaboration with the government.
The initiative is being flagged off in Delhi and Chennai to start with, which top the list of road accidents.
"Blind Spots on the roads are accident-prone areas that often lead to fatal outcomes and it’s welcoming to see that companies like Nissan India are addressing this cause with great attention and passion. The campaign by Nissan with the support of IRSC will help to collect the crucial data for the Blind Spots, which will be extremely important to make roads in and around Delhi and Chennai even safer and save many lives,” said Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
“This is a crowd source initiative which calls for people in these cities to contribute to this campaign and provide more information about Blind Spots in their daily commute so a collective action can be explored to eliminate and reduce road fatalities. I congratulate and wish the team best of luck for their CSR efforts,” he added.
Nissan India will explore ways to expand this project in the coming years. “Nissan, as a global automobile company, cares and intends to stay committed and invested in this human cause and after the first pilot in Delhi and Chennai, will explore ways to expand this project in the coming years. With the vision to convert existing blind spots into safe spots, along with the partnership and guidance from MoRTH and IRSC, we want to make this a model project that could be replicated across the nation,” said Vani Aiyer, GM Corporate Communications, Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd.